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.
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.