Homologous Series

The series of organic compounds in which the consecutive member differs by CH2 group is called homologous series.  Examples:
CH4: Methane
C2H6: Ethane
C3H8: Propane
C4 H10: Butane


CH4OH: Methanol
CH3CH2OH: Ethanol
CH3CH2CH2OH: Propanol
CH3CH2CH2CH2OH: Butanol

Properties of homologous series:

  • Consecutive members differ by CH2 units.
  • All the members of homologous series have similar properties.
  • Physical properties of homologous series gradually changes with the change in molecular weight.
  • All the members of homologous series can be represented by a common general formula. Example: Alkanes can be represented by the general formula. CnH2n+2, where n is the number of carbon atom.
  • Two consecutive homologues differs by 14 units in molecular weight.

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