Since the 1913 edition of Webster's dictionary, the nomenclature of hydrocarbons has become more standardized, and what was referred to as hecdecane is now called hexadecane.

The language has also become more specific in regards to structure. Hexadecane is now specifically a string of sixteen linked carbon atoms, like so:

  H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
  H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
Other forms of C16H34 are not considered hexadecane, but are identified by naming the longest string of carbon atoms, then referencing the branches off of them, as in 2-methyl pentadecane, below:
  H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
  H | H H H H H H H H H H H H H
  H-C-H
    |
    H

Hex"a*dec`ane (?), n. Chem.

See Hecdecane.

 

© Webster 1913.

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