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Hexane ball.png

Systematic name Hexane
Other names n-Hexane
Molecular formula CH3(CH2)4CH3 or C6H14
Molar mass Molar mass::86.18 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
CAS number CAS number::110-54-3
Density and phase Density::0.6548 g/ml, ?
Solubility in water 9.5 mg/100 ml (?°C)
Melting point Melting point::−96 to −94°C
Boiling point Boiling point::68.5 to 69.1°C
Viscosity 294 cP
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards flammable
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point -26.0°C
RTECS number MN9275000
Related compounds
Related compounds Pentane, Heptane [1]
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Hexane is an organic compound that contains xix carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms in a linear chain. It appears as a colorless liquid and is a non-polar molecule that is not able to dissolve in water. Hexane is produced by human activity and is naturally in petroleum. Hexane is a useful compound as a solvent, and for its uses as an industrial cleaner or degreaser. It is useful but dangerous at the same time. Hexane could cause eye, nose, throat and respiratory irritation. That does not mean that it is always dangerous, and there are several ways to remove hexane from irritating one's eye, nose, or throat.[2]


Hexane is one of the chemical compounds that composed of Carbon and Hydrogen chained together individually by single bonds. Such compounds are saturated hydrocarbons known as 'Alkanes' or by an older name paraffin (not to be confused with the wax). The examples of the alkane compounds are methane, ethane, pentane, heptane, and octane. [3]The prefix 'hex' in Hexane show that there are 6 carbon atoms in it and is a simple molecule. Hexane is produced by 6 carbon atoms and 14hydrogen atoms together which gives it molecular formula of C6H14. Carbons are connected in line horizontally one by one. Every single Carbon has 2 Hydrogen connected except for the first and the last Carbon that has 3 hydrogen surrounding it. This is a liquid without color and a non-polar molecule that is not able to dissolved in water.[4] This compound is stable and has no change in room temperature but it melts in -95.3°C and boils at 67.8°C. Also it has molar mass of 86.18g/mol

This compound is usually obtainable in petroleum deposits but it also appear in several different places in the nature. This supports the reason why it is in the gasoline in high concentrations. Frequently, chemists isolate this compound when petroleum and oils with petroleum are extracted and polished. After it is isolated, it is able to cleansed and purified and sold commercially. [2]

Synthesis / Occurrences

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly. Hexane is included in petroleum products

Hexane could be made by human synthesis and occurs naturally. Almost all the hexane is acquired from petroleum mixtures through controlled distillation and other removing methods. Distillation divides hydrocarbons with certain differing boiling points. Also it could be a metabolic byproduct from particular sorts of fungi. In addition, hexane can be obtained from sugar cane wastes by using notable catalysts. This is a type of synthesis that is advanced and the volume created is very restrained. Various types of hydrocarbon pollutants in a large number of hexane's commercial grades are existing. If this is mixed with taking hexane preparations away to discourage substance abuse on purpose, it makes establishing odor thresholds for many products containing hexane uneasy.[5]

As one of the compound in alkane group, hexane has six carbon atoms. Alkanes are known as flammable or saturated hydrocarbons. Only two elements: Carbon(C) and Hydrogen (H) are components of this chemical compound are chemical compounds. Atoms of these two elements are connected together only by single bonds. Hexane is organic and it is made with two different elements carbon and hydrogen. This is important mixture part of gasoline that is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture .Gasoline is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. A non-polar solvent is a liquid solvent that does not have remarkable imperfect charges on atoms unlike in hydrocarbons or the place where the polar bonds are organized in a way that the effects of their partial charges are removed. It is shown as a liquid without color and is a non-polar molecule which means that it is not soluble in water. More than anything else, hexane is produced by purifying crude oil which is a naturally occurring flammable liquid that consists different parts of hydrocarbon mixtures. The required constitution of the fraction is mostly depended on the an origin of the crude or reformed oil and measurement of purifying. The industrial product that is mainly near 50% by weight of the straight-chain isomer has a fraction boiling point at 65-70 °C. [6]


This is a degreaser which remove oils

Hexane is an useful compound as a solvent. There are many popular uses of this compound and one of them is as an industrial cleaner or degreaser. It is useful in dividing molecules and separating fats and oils apart from different substances. This is why it could be also found in household cleaning products often. However, it is mostly accepted in solvents created to be used on heavy engines or in areas with wide zones that needs to be cleaned fast. An economical price of this solution could be a cause of the popularity.[2] Other separated compositions also can have important influence on the materials that can produce bitter tastes and sugars are removed when the influence is on the point to which particular flatulence. Several years of experience in mixing oil extraction strides with other processes to protect wanted colors and remove disliked tastes or other unwanted food properties have functioned to keep a massive dependence on hexane for extract oil that can be eaten. [5]

Similar to other alkane compounds, hexane is used in plants and vegetables. It is used in plants and vegetables to remove the greases and proteins and they are used in other productions. The most well known plants are Soybeans, peanuts, and corn. Sometimes, the compound can tear off these foods very productively. Also the resultant oils are regularly packed again to be sold and when a small amount of other treatment is added, it could be used in manufactured foods. A piece of hexane's claim is presented to artistic estate like maintaining the colors of the original plant components. [5]

Not only breaking compounds down, hexane is also effective in helping things to stick at once. But this is especially when used in conjunction with other non-water soluble compounds. [2] These have hexane included: glues, adhesives, and leather-dressing preparations, particularly those used to assemble shoes. In the printing industry, hexane is used as a cleaner and a component and element of some inks. This is also used in facilities that use rotogravure printers and make catalogs, magazines, glossy newspaper inserts, or telephone directories. Similar rotogravure or flexographic technologies use this compound for labels, gift wrap, metal foils, flexible packaging materials, and some floor coverings. [5]


Inhaling hexane cause irritation to eye

After the ingestion and aspiration to the lungs, chemical pneumonia could happen. CNS depression, convulsions, coma, and death are often followed by small exposure to great application. Inhaling hexane results in an irritation to the eye, nose, throat, and respiratory and they are quickly changeable when exposing stops without continuing. Symptoms are acuter than when ingestion or inhalation are linked with exposure to other hydrocarbons which is able to increase effects, Exogenous catecholamines could cause a deadly ventricular arrhythmia in the sensitive mycardium. Coughing, Wheezing, bloody frothy sputum, headache, dizziness, tachycardia and fever could be considered as minor exposure to hexane. Gastrointestinal symptoms could result also. Aspiration of hexane could be a result of pulmonary edema and chemical pneumonia in respiratory system. In cardiovascular system, tachycardia and ventricular dysrhythmia could occur. [7]

Hexane could be absorbed by inhalation, ingestion or by applying to the skin. Workers in laboratory, chemists, and pharmacists could be exposed to the solution of hexane. About 28% of inhaled hexane was occupied by the lungs in human volunteers. During physical exercise, the alveolar uptake rate had been reduced. However the total uptake of hexane rose slowly as a consequence of the higher lung ventilation rate. Hexane is poorly gotten by the gastrointestinal system. Peak blood level happen in short time, less than an hour following inhalation or percutaneous exposure and the dermal absorption is extremely slow.[8]


Here is a video of purifying Hexane


  1. Author unknown. Hexane Wikepedia. Web. Accessed on 27 March 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cole, Brad. What is hexane? wiseGeek. Web. Last modified on 30 April 2014.
  3. Reusch, William. Naming Organic Compounds chemistry.msu. Web. 5 May 2013.
  4. Author unknown. What is Hexane? innovateus. Web. Accessed on 1 April 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Author unknown. n-Hexane. Place of Publication unknown: ATSDR, year unknown. 153-154. Print.
  6. Author unknown. What is Hexane? innovateus. Web. Accessed on 15 April 2014.
  7. N-Hexane Toxnet. Web.Last updated on March 8 2013. Author unknown.
  8. N-Hexane Toxnet. Web.Last updated on March 8 2013.Author unknown.