What is a Hydrocarbon?

A hydrocarbon is an organic chemical compound composed exclusively of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Hydrocarbons occur naturally and form the basis of crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other important energy sources.

Hydrocarbons are highly combustible, producing carbon dioxide, water, and heat when burnt. Therefore, they are highly effective and sought after as a source of fuel. Refined petroleum has been used to produce a myriad of derivative materials that play critical roles in the world economy, such as plastics, solvents, and lubricants. Read more