Cracking Hydrocarbons?

At school or revising at home I had no idea about cracking, what the process is or how it works, I nead help fully understanding. I am on higher tier for GCSE science. Thanks a lot.

Answers
e.g. hexane C6H14 into Butane C4H10 pluse ethene C2H4
docmarsh
01 May 2013
Cracking hydrocarbons breaks longer chain alkanes into a shorter alkane plus an alkene.
docmarsh
01 May 2013
Can't get the whiteboard facility to work on this computer but will try again later so I can draw diagram.
docmarsh
01 May 2013
Crude oil is refined using two process: fractional distillation separates the hydrocarbons according to boiling point (and therefore chain length). Distillation separates the molecules but does not change them. Cracking actually breaks molecules up.
docmarsh
01 May 2013
The reason that cracking is done is to obtain more of the shorter alkanes and alkenes which are the most useful for things like manufacture of chemicals; also as monomers for polymerisation reactions (e.g. ethene to make polythene)
docmarsh
01 May 2013
Many thanks, it helped :D
superman
01 May 2013
No problem :)
docmarsh
01 May 2013
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