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Describe the differences between alkanes and aromatic compounds.

Alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons with single bonds, while aromatic compounds are unsaturated hydrocarbons with a ring structure.

Alkanes, also known as paraffins, are hydrocarbons that consist of only single bonds between carbon atoms. They are saturated compounds, meaning they have the maximum number of hydrogen atoms possible for their carbon chain length. Alkanes are typically unreactive due to their strong carbon-hydrogen bonds, and are commonly used as fuels and lubricants.

Aromatic compounds, on the other hand, are unsaturated hydrocarbons that contain a ring structure known as an aromatic ring. The most common aromatic compound is benzene, which has a hexagonal ring of six carbon atoms with alternating double bonds. Aromatic compounds are more reactive than alkanes due to the presence of the double bonds, and are used in a variety of applications including dyes, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals.

One key difference between alkanes and aromatic compounds is their physical properties. Alkanes are typically nonpolar and have low boiling points, while aromatic compounds are often polar and have higher boiling points. Additionally, aromatic compounds are more likely to undergo substitution reactions, where a functional group replaces a hydrogen atom on the ring, while alkanes are more likely to undergo addition reactions, where a molecule adds to the carbon-carbon double bond.

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