IUPAC rules for naming Alkanes

IUPAC Rules for Naming



The IUPAC system is much the same for all classes of organic compounds.
The IUPAC rules for naming Alkanes are given below:

RULE  1.  Select the longest continuous carbon chain: Remember that chain does not have to be that portion of the molecule that is written horizontally. This is a mistake made by many beginning students.

RULE 2.  Name the longest chain: The longest carbon chain is chosen as the basis for the name.

RULE 3.  Number the longest chain: The carbon atoms in the longest chain are numbered. The numbering is started from that end which will give numbers having the lowest value to carbons carrying substituents.



RULE 4.  Identify the substituents: Name the substituent. Indicate its position by the number of the carbon atom to which it is attached.


RULE 5.  Prefix the position number and name of the substituents onto the parent name: The whole name is written as one word. Notice that number and name of the substituents are separated by a hyphen.



RULE 6.  Identify the substituents by name and position numbers: When the same substituent is present two or more times in the molecule, prefix di, tri-, tetra-, penta-, etc. are used. Position of each substituent is indicated by a separate number. These position numbers, separated by commas, are put just before the name of the substituent, with the hyphen before and after the numbers when necessary.



RULES 7. When two or more different substituents are present, their names are arranged alphabetic order and added to the name of the parent alkane, again as one word.




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