Ethylene (IUPAC name: ethene) is the chemical compound with the formula C2H4. It is the simplest alkene. Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is called an unsaturated hydrocarbon or an olefin. It is extremely important in industry and also has a role in biology as a hormone. Ethylene is the most produced organic compound in the world; global production of ethylene exceeded 107 million metric tonnes per year in 2005.
Approximately 80% of ethylene used in the United States and Europe is used to create ethylene oxide, ethylene dichloride, and polyethylene. In smaller quantities, ethylene is used as an anesthetic agent (in an 85% ethylene/15% oxygen ratio), to hasten fruit ripening, as well as a welding gas
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