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Hexane or n-hexane is an alkane, containing six carbon atoms, with the chemical formula C6H14.
Hexane will burn in air when ignited:
- C6H14 + 19/2 O2 → 6 CO2 + 7 H2O + heat
Hexane will react with bromine under UV light to yield bromohexane.
Hexane is a colorless liquid, with a petrolic odor, similar to lighter fluid. It is insoluble in water, but miscible with many organic solvents. It has a melting point of −95.3 °C and a boiling point of 68.7 °C. Hexane has considerable vapor pressure at room temperature (121.26 mmHg). It has a density of 0.6548 g/ml. Hexane is flammable, with a flash point of −26.0 °C and an autoignition temperature of 234.0 °C.
Certain lighter fluids contain n-hexane.
Stoddard solvent contains n-hexane along other alkanes, which can be separated via fractal distillation. However this may require large amounts of solvent.
Some rubber cements contain hexane as solvent, though not all.
Hexane can be extracted by fractual distillation of gasoline, though this process is intense and time-consuming.
- Extract oils from plants
- Chemical reaction medium for organometallic reactions
- N-buthyllithium storage
Hexane is irritant to the nose and eyes. The acute toxicity of n-hexane is rather low, however it can be metabolized by the organism to hexane-2,5-dione which is toxic. Long term exposure poses a health hazard. It's suspected to cause disruptions to the reproductive system.
Hexane must be stored in closed bottles, away from any heat or light source. Due to its high vapor pressure, it's mandatory to keep the bottle open or semi-open after being moved from a cold area to a warmer one, to prevent a dangerous build-up of pressure, until the entire content of the bottle reaches the room temperature.
Hexane can be safely burned as it only releases carbon oxides and water vapor and extremely little soot.