Ethylene - Definition

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Ethylene is an organic compound in the class of hydrocarbons, containing essentially atoms of hydrogen and carbon. It is a volatile, colorless, and very reactive gas. Ethylene is a molecule widely used in the chemical industry, and serves as a base for the production of plastic materials and polymers (polyethylene, for example). Ethylene is also naturally present as a plant hormone, especially used to accelerate the ripening process of fruit.