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[see-teyn] /ˈsi teɪn/
a colorless, liquid hydrocarbon of the alkane series, C 16 H 34 , used as a solvent and in cetane number determinations.
Origin of cetane
1930-35; cet(yl) + -ane Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cetane
  • cetane rating is the diesel equivalent to gasoline's octane rating.
  • cetane improver is important in satisfying the on-road diesel cetane number specification.
  • cetane may therefore not be correlated unequivocally to ignition delay in modern engines.
  • The cetane index is a correlate of the cetane number, which is a measure of the ease with which a fuel is ignited.
  • cetane controls the delay time for ignition in compression ignition piston engines.
British Dictionary definitions for cetane


a colourless insoluble liquid alkane hydrocarbon used in the determination of the cetane number of diesel fuel. Formula: C16H34 Also called hexadecane
Word Origin
C19: from Latin cētus whale + -ane, so called because related compounds are found in sperm whale oil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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cetane in Science
A colorless liquid hydrocarbon derived from petroleum. It is used as a solvent and a component of diesel fuels. Chemical formula: C16H34.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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