Butane

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Butane is an organic compound, with the chemical formula C4H10. It consists of two structural isomers, n-butane and isobutane, also known as methylpropane.

Properties

Chemical

Both butane isomers react with halogens to yield halobutanes in the presence of light. Iodine however does not react with butane, instead it dissolves in it.

Xylene appears to be miscible with butane.

Physical

Butane is a gas at standard conditions, easily compressible. Butane consists of two isomers:

  • n-butane: A colorless gas at standard conditions, n-butane melts at −138 °C and boils at -0.5°C. Its density is 0.579 g/mL at 20 °C. Flash point is at 45°C.
  • isobutane:Just like the n isomer, isobutane is a colorless gas. It melts at −160 °C and boils at −12 °C.

Availability

Camping fire stove tanks contain a mixture of isobutane with propane, usually in a 80:20 ratio.

Preparation

N-butane can be prepared by decarboxylating valeric acid derivates.

Projects

Handling

Safety

Butane has low toxicity, but in high concentration can cause asphyxiation.

Storage

Butane tanks should be stored in cold places.

Disposal

Butane is flammable.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads