HydroCarbons Information



What are Hydrocarbons?

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Most hydrocarbons found on earth naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen. Hydrocarbons are a primary energy source for current civilizations. Extracted hydrocarbons in liquid form are called petroleum, and extracted hydrocarbons in gas form are called natural gas. There are three types of hydrocarbons: saturated, unsaturated, and aromatic. Saturated hydrocarbons are the simplest form, being composed entirely of single bonds. Unsaturated hydrocarbons have one or more double or triple bonds. Aromatic hydrocarbons are compounds that have at least one aromatic ring structure. Hydrocarbons can be gases (methane, propane), liquids (hexane, benzene), waxes or low melting solids (paraffin wax), or polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene).

Health Risks

When hydrocarbons combust, toxic carbon monoxide can form. Hydrocarbons should be kept away from fluorine compounds due to the likelihood of forming toxic hydrofluoric acid. Hydrocarbon poisoning usually occurs accidentally by inhalation or ingestion. Intravenous or subcutaneous injection of petroleum compounds with the intent of suicide or abuse can result in local damage or systemic toxicity such as tissue necrosis, abscess formation, respiratory system failure, and damage to kidneys and central nervous system.

Measuring Hydrocarbons

The products we carry to measure Hydrocarbon levels can be found HERE.

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