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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Hydrocarbons

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Hydrocarbons are referred to as consisting of a "backbone" or "skeleton" composed entirely of carbon and hydrogen and other bonded compounds, and lack a functional group that generally facilitates combustion without adverse effects. The majority of hydrocarbons found naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides an abundance of carbon and hydrogen which, when bonded can catenate to form seemingly limitless chains. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocarbons

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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