Significance for a Martian colony
The manufacturing of hydrocarbons is inevitable for a colony on Mars. As an intermediate product they are a resource to manufacture a great variety of vital products that are made from synthetic materials, such as space suits, gaskets, etc.
Liquid hydrocarbons can be used for energy storage. Accumulated in large tanks, they can be oxidized on demand.
Alkanes are non-cyclical hydrocarbons containing only single bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms.
- Methane CH4
- Ethane C2H6
- Propane C3H8
- Butane & Isobutane C4H10
- Pentane, Isopentane, & Neopentane C5H12
Cycloalkanes are cyclical hydrocarbons containing only single bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms.
- Cyclopropane C3H6
Alkenes are hydrocarbons containing at least one double carbon bond.
- Ethylene C2H4
Alkynes, also called acetylenes, are hydrocarbons containing at least one triple carbon bond.
- Ethyne () is the simplest possible alkyne.
Alcohols are hydrocarbons containing a hydroxyl functional group (OH). They are liquid and, therefore, can be stored easily without high pressure or low temperature. Alcohols can be used as fuel, producing heat when oxidized, with water and carbon dioxide as reaction products.
Hydrocarbons are common in organic chemistry. They can also be produced artificially through chemical reactions.