alkane al·kane (āl'kān')
Any of various saturated open-chain hydrocarbons having the general formula CnH2n+2, the most abundant of which is methane.
|alkane (āl'kān') Pronunciation Key
Any of a group of hydrocarbons that have carbon atoms in chains linked by single bonds and that have the general formula CnH2n+2. Alkanes can be either gaseous, liquid, or solid. They occur naturally in petroleum and natural gas, and include methane, propane and butane. Also called paraffin. ◇ The group of alkanes as a whole is called the alkane series or the methane or paraffin series. Its first six members are methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, and hexane.
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.
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