Flexi Says: Saturated hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons that contain only single bonds between carbon atoms. They are the simplest class of hydrocarbons. They are called saturated because each carbon atom is bonded to as many hydrogen atoms as possible. In other words, the carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen. Saturated hydrocarbons are given the general name of alkanes. The name of specific alkanes always ends in –ane. The first part of the name indicates how many carbon atoms each molecule of the alkane has. The smallest alkane is methane. It has just one carbon atom. C3H8 is propane with three carbon atoms.