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paraffin series

noun, Chemistry
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for paraffin series
  • The lightest in the paraffin series of hydrocarbons.
  • Paraffin waxes are the colorless mixtures of solid hydrocarbons of the paraffin series.
paraffin series in Science
paraffin series  
See under alkane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for paraffin series

alkane

any of the saturated hydrocarbons having the general formula CnH2n+2, C being a carbon atom, H a hydrogen atom, and n an integer. The paraffins are major constituents of natural gas and petroleum. Paraffins containing fewer than 5 carbon atoms per molecule are usually gaseous at room temperature, those having 5 to 15 carbon atoms are usually liquids, and the straight-chain paraffins having more than 15 carbon atoms per molecule are solids. Branched-chain paraffins have a much higher octane number rating than straight-chain paraffins and, therefore, are the more desirable constituents of gasoline. The hydrocarbons are immiscible with water but are soluble in absolute alcohol, ether, and acetone. All paraffins are colourless.

Learn more about alkane with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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