A chain of atoms in a molecule, usually carbon atoms, that is neither branched nor formed into a ring.
- In addition, the chemistry of a compound is strongly affected by whether it is a straight-chain molecule or a ring compound, and whether that ring is aliphatic or aromatic.
- Acids are used to raise the octane levels of gasolines by converting straight-chain hydrocarbon molecules to highly branched molecules.
- An alkyl group is a straight chain molecule, but if the modifier is in the form of a ring structure it is more properly called an aryl group.
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