Gas Library

butaneButane (C4H10)

 

Butane is a gas with the formula C4H10 that is an alkane with four carbon atoms. The term may refer to any of two structural isomers, or to a mixture of them: in the IUPAC nomenclature, however, butane refers only to the unbranched n-butane isomer; the other one being called "methylpropane" or isobutane. Butanes are highly flammable, colorless, easily liquefied gases. The name butane comes from the roots but- (from butyric acid) and -ane. The most common use of butane is as lighter fuel for a common lighter or butane torch. Butane gas is sold bottled as a fuel for cooking and camping. When blended with propane and other hydrocarbons, it is referred to commercially as LPG, for liquified petroleum gas. It is also used as a petrol component, as a feedstock for the production of base petrochemicals in steam cracking, as fuel for cigarette lighters and as a propellant in aerosol sprays such as deodorants. Very pure forms of butane, especially isobutane, can be used as refrigerants and have largely replaced the ozone layer-depleting halomethanes, for instance in household refrigerators and freezers. The system operating pressure for butane is lower than for the halomethanes, such as R-12, so R-12 systems such as in automotive air conditioning systems, when converted to butane will not function optimally. Cordless hair irons are usually powered by butane cartridges