Alkanes are rarely prepared from other types of compounds because of economic reasons. However, ignoring financial considerations, alkanes can be prepared from the following compounds:
1. Unsaturated compounds via catalytic reduction
2. Alkyl halides via coupling (Wurtz reaction)
3. Alkyl halides via Grignard reagent
4. Alkyl halides via reduction
Although organic chemists refer to the above diagrams as “equations,” they are not balanced. In addition, not every product formed is shown. These diagrams are really reaction schemes.