The triple bond of alkynes consists of one sigma bond and two pie bonds, which are perpendicular to each other. The two pie bonds get mixed up and all the four pie electrons are cylindrical distributed around the two sp hybridised carbon atoms. Being unsaturated, alkynes undergo addition reactions to form alkene derivatives with the addition of one molecule and saturated compounds with the addition of two molecules. Under suitable conditions, it is possible to isolate the intermediate alkene.
Acetylene is less reactive than ethylene towards most of the electrophilic reagents. This is unexpected in view of the fact that the p-electron density in a triple bond is higher than that in a double bond. Possible reason for decreased reactivity of a triple bond towards electrophiles may be the fact that the bridged halonium ion from acetylene is more strained than the bridged halonium ion from ethylene.
Towards hydrogenation (which do not involve electrophilic attack), ajkynes are more reactive than alkenes.
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