Molecule of the Week

Cyclopropane

September 17, 2012

Cyclopropane is a gas with an odor like that of petroleum ether. Because of its strained ring structure, it is more reactive and explosive than other saturated hydrocarbons. It was discovered by A. Freund in 1881; the same year he proposed the correct structure and synthesized it by treating 1,3-dibromopropane with sodium. For a while, cyclopropane was used as an anesthetic, but this use has been discontinued because the gas is dangerous to manufacture and handle.

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