Since the 1913 edition of Webster's dictionary, the nomenclature of hydrocarbons has become more specific in regards to structure. Pentadecane is now specifically a string of fifteen linked carbon atoms, like so:

  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
Other forms of C15H32 are not considered pentadecane, but are identified by naming the longest string of carbon atoms, then referencing the branches off of them, as in 2-methyl tetradecane, below:
  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-H
  | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
  H | H H H H H H H H H H H H
  H-C-H
    |
    H

Pen`ta*dec"ane (?), n. [Penta- + Gr. ten.] Chem.

A hydrocarbon of the paraffin series, (C15H32) found in petroleum, tar oil, etc., and obtained as a colorless liquid; -- so called from the fifteen carbon atoms in the molecule.

 

© Webster 1913.

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