Ethylene’s Bonding and Products

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Identify that ethylene, because of the high reactivity of its double bond, is readily transformed into many useful products

  • The double bond present in alkenes, such as ethylene, makes them much more reactive than their corresponding alkanes.
  • Many substances react with alkenes through breaking open the double bond into two single bonds, this being an example of an addition reaction.
  • Addition Reaction: A reaction in which two or more molecules are reacted together to form a single molecule.


Structure of ethylene, with its double bond between carbon atoms


ProductEthanolEthylene oxideEthylene glycolVinyl chloride
ReactantsEthylene and waterEthylene and oxygenEthylene oxide and dilute acidOxygen and chlorine
Conditions– High pressure
– About 300˚C
– Phosphoric acid catalyst
About 250˚C with silver as a catalystTreatment with dilute acid solution– About 150˚C
– Copper chloride catalyst
Uses– Fuel
– Industrial, commercial and domestic solvent
– Cleaning and disinfecting fluid
Fumigant– Anti-freeze liquid
– Manufacturing of polyester
Monomer for producing polyvinyl chloride
2D structure diagram
3D structure diagram

Products of ethylene