Hexane - C<sub>6</sub>H<sub>14</sub>

What is Hexane?

Hexane is an unbranched hydrocarbon with formula C6H14. Hexane is a nonpolar molecule with a weak intermolecular interactions occur between the molecules of pure liquid hydrocarbons. It is a highly volatile, flammable toxic chemical which is a by-product made from crude oil. Hexane isomers are to a great extent lifeless, and are every now and again utilized as an organic solvent since they are very non-polar.

Other names – Amyl Carbinol, 1-Hexanol, Hexyl alcohol, 1-Hydroxyhexane




655 kg/m³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

86.18 g/mol

Boiling Point

68.5 to 69.1 °C

Melting Point

−96 to −94 °C

Chemical Formula


Hexane Structure – C6H14

Hexane Structure

Physical Properties of Hexane – C6H14


Gasoline-like odor


Colorless volatile liquid



Vapour Pressure

17.60 kPa (at 20.0 °C)


3.26 X 10-4 Pa-s at 20 deg C


9.5 mg L−1

Chemical Properties of Hexane – C6H14

  • Hexane undergoes combustion reaction readily to form carbon dioxide and water molecules.
  • 2C6H14 + 19O2 → 12CO2 + 14H2O

  • Hexane being a higher hydrocarbons undergo thermal cracking forms more than one hydrocarbon.
  • C6H14 (on thermal cracking) → C4H10(butane) + C2H4(ethene)

Uses of Hexane – C6H14

  • One of the most commonly used solvents in synthetic reactions using lipases.
  • Used in the biodiesel production.
  • Hexane in commercial grades used as solvents for varnishes, inks and adhesives.
  • Used as a min solvent for vegetable oilseed and other non-petroleum oil extraction since the 1940s.
  • Hexane azeotropes have been used for secondary extraction of residual lipids from hexane-extracted meals in order to improve flavor and odour.

Health Hazard

Inhalation causes cough, respiratory track irritation, mild depression, cardiac arrhythmias. Ingestion causes vomiting, nausea, headache, swelling of abdomen and depression. Aspiration causes severe lung irritation, coughing, pulmonary edema, excitement followed by depression.

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