saturation, of an organic compound, condition occurring when its molecules contain no double or triple bonds and thus cannot undergo addition reactions. For example, ethane (H 3C–CH 3) is a saturated compound. A compound is called unsaturated if it can undergo addition reactions. In the unsaturated compound ethene (H 2C=CH 2), the carbon-carbon double bond readily reacts, e.g., with hydrogen to form ethane.
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