Cracking is an industrial process in which alkanes are split into a mixture of smaller molecules some of which are unsaturated.

High temperatures are normally needed to crack alkanes and this is expensive and difficult. However, if a catalyst is used the process can be carried out at much lower temperatures.

The aim of this experiment is to crack liquid paraffin (a mixture of alkanes of chain length C20 and greater) and to demonstrate that some of the products are unsaturated.

As an alternative, that will avoid the dangers of ‘suck-back’, you can use a microscale approach – Cracking

Cracking – Pupil

Cracking – Teacher/Technician

Cracking – Risk Assessment