When ethanol is heated with excess of concentrated sulphuric acid at 170° C (443K) it gets dehydrated to form ethene (an unsaturated hydrocarbon).
CH3-CH2OH (ethanol) CH2=CH2 (dehydration) + H2O (water)
1) In this reaction, concentrated sulphuric acid acts as a dehydrating agent which removes water molecule from the ethanol molecule.
2) If hydrogen is added to the ethene (product of above reaction) in the presence of catalysts like palladium or nickel then one atom of H adds to each carbon atom of ethene due to which the double bond opens up to form a single bond in ethane.
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