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[eth-eyn] /ˈɛθ eɪn/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, odorless, flammable gas, C 2 H 6 , of the methane series, present in natural gas, illuminating gas, and crude petroleum: used chiefly in organic synthesis and as a fuel gas.
Also called dimethyl.
1870-75; eth(yl) + -ane Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ethane
  • The trouble is that the ethane route to making ethylene produces virtually no propylene.
  • The inner envelope holds helium in the head section of the blimp and an ethane fuel gas in the three tail sections.
  • In fact, the team found ethane, methane and ethylene in spring water located near the oracle.
  • The technology might one day wring more diesel fuel and ethane gas from hydrocarbon byproducts produced by oil refineries.
  • Natural gas is primarily composed of methane, but contains ethane, propane and butane as well.
  • ethane is typically supplied as purity ethane or as part of ethane-propane mix.
British Dictionary definitions for ethane


/ˈiːθeɪn; ˈɛθ-/
a colourless odourless flammable gaseous alkane obtained from natural gas and petroleum: used as a fuel and in the manufacture of organic chemicals. Formula: C2H6
Word Origin
C19: from eth(yl) + -ane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ethane

1873, from ethyl + -ane, the appropriate suffix under Hofmann's system.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethane in Science
A colorless, odorless, flammable gas occurring in natural gas. It is used as a fuel and in refrigeration. Ethane is the second member of the alkane series. Chemical formula: C2H6.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ethane

a colourless, odourless, gaseous hydrocarbon (compound of hydrogen and carbon), belonging to the paraffin series; its chemical formula is C2H6. Ethane is structurally the simplest hydrocarbon that contains a single carbon-carbon bond. The second most important constituent of natural gas, it also occurs dissolved in petroleum oils and as a by-product of oil refinery operations and of the carbonization of coal.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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