If the chemistry of carbon
were limited to the hydrocarbons discussed in Chapter 19, it would
be of relatively minor interest.
What we have been examining, however, is only the framework upon
which all of the interesting chemistry can be hung.
Hydrocarbons by themselves are notably unreactive. But once the
halogen derivatives have been made, these then can enter into a
great variety of chemical reactions that lead to compounds with
almost any desired properties.
This chapter is an introduction to the most important of these compounds.
Right: Amyl valerate, an ester which has the characteristic
smell of apples.