# Why are alkenes unsaturated?

Mar 24, 2016

We call an organic compound saturated if all available valence bonds of the $C$'s are bonded to $H$ (or other functional groups)

#### Explanation:

An alkene has a double bond, which means that two of the available bonds are used to bind two $C$'s. This bond can be opened (under the right circumstances) to allow two more $H$'s into the compound.

Compare Ethene: ${H}_{2} - C = C - {H}_{2}$

With Ethane:${H}_{3} - C - C - {H}_{3}$

Ethane has all the $H$'s it can take, and is thus called "saturated"