RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Ethylene. Computer model of a molecule of ethylene. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (black) and hydrogen (green). Ethylene, also known as ethene, is a colourless flammable gas at room temperature. It is the simplest of the alkenes (hydrocarbons with double bonds). It is derived from natural gas and petroleum and is used in the production of plastics.
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