Butane - C4H10

What is Butane?

Butane is an organic compound with the formula C4H10. Butane is a saturated hydrocarbon containing 4 carbons, with unbranched structure. Used primarily as a gasoline mixture, either alone or in a propane mixture, and as a feedstock for ethylene and butadiene production, Butane like propane comes from natural gas or petroleum refineries and the two gases are usually found together. The butane is stored under pressure as a liquid. When the curler is switched on, butane is released and changes to a gas.

Other names – Methylethylmethane, n-Butane

C4H10 Butane
Density 2.48 kg/m³
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 58.12 g/mol
Boiling Point -1 °C
Melting Point -138 °C
Chemical Formula C4H10

Butane Structure – C4H10


Butane Structure

Physical Properties of Butane – C4H10

Odour Odourless
Appearance Colourless gas
Covalently-Bonded Unit 1
Specific Gravity 0.601
Complexity 2
Solubility Insoluble in water

Chemical Properties of Butane – C4H10

    • Butane undergoes oxidation results in the formation of carbon dioxide and water. The chemical equation is given below.

2C4H10 + 13O2 → 8CO2 + 10H2O

    • Butane reacts with chlorine resulting in the formation of butyl chloride and hydrogen chloride. The chemical equation is given below.

C4H10 + Cl2 → C4H9Cl + HCl

Uses of Butane – C4H10

  • Generally used for domestic purposes in cylinders painted red and is sold under various trade names.
  • Used for gasoline blending, as a fuel gas and as a feedstock in the production of ethylene and Butadiene.
  • Used to produce methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE)
  • Used in catalytic dehydrogenation of butane or cracking of feedstocks to n-butenes and higher and lower boiling fractions.

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