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Systematic name Pentane
Other names

Amyl Hydride

Molecular formula C5H12
Molar mass Molar mass::72.15 g/mol
Appearance Clear liquid
CAS number CAS number::109-66-0
Density and phase Density::0.626 g/ml, ?
Solubility in water 0.004 g/100 mL (20°C)
Melting point Melting point::36°C
Boiling point Boiling point::-130°C
Viscosity 0.34 cP at 30°C
Dipole moment 0 D
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards Highly flammable and harmful
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point 49°C
R/S statement

R: R12 R20 R21 R22
S: S9 S29 S33 S16

RTECS number RZ9450000
Related compounds
Other anions Pentasilatricyclo
Related compounds Cyclopentane
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Pentane is a hydrocarbon with six carbon atoms and twelve hydrogen atoms. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a mild gasoline-like odor. Pentane is found as a natural gas and has five carbon atoms . Used for fuel and other chemical-related things, pentane can be quite harmful and could even result in death if handled incorrectly.


In addition to the properties listed on the right.[1][2][3][4] Pentane has three isomers: n-pentane, methylbutane and dimethylpropane. N-pentane is the most common isomer and is the one most referred to. Pentane has five carbon atoms and twelve hydrogen atoms thus making its chemical formula C5H12.[5] Pentanes physical state is a clear, colorless liquid with a gasoline like odor. Some say that its odor is quite pleasant and mild. The Vapor pressure of Pentane is 514 millimeters of Mercury at 25 degrees Celsius. Pentanes boiling point is 36 degrees Celsius and its freezing and melting point is -130 degrees Celcius.[6]


Pentane comes from many different places. First it comes from natural gas, but when it is released to the atmosphere it's most likely to be in a small amount. Pentane can also be found when using products and burning it off, and even can be found in industrial manufacturing.[7]


Pentanes main use is in petrol fuel for some vehicles. Though as you may not know it is also used in the chemical industry as a solvent to produce other chemicals. Pentane has been used in filling plastic foams replacing more harmful chemicals such as hydofluorocarbons and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons which hurt the ozone layer.[8] Pentane is a high volume chemical, which means over one-millions pounds are produced or imported annually. There is roughly only about three-thousand three hundred high volume chemicals out of the seventy-thousand commercially used chemicals. Pentane is used in chemical laboratories whose use is derived from the "Use Clusters Scoring System" which came from the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.[9]


Pentane is a fairly harmful material to the environment. It is highly unlikely that pentane pollution affects the global environment yet, it can kill crops and wildlife. The wildlife killed through pentane is mostly aquatic but this does not happen often because of the small amounts of pentane being released at one particular time.

Pentane affects humans too, and in some cases quite severely. In high amounts pentane can lead to a coma or death. There are two to three ways of being affected by pentane: ingestion, inhalation or if it absorbs through the skin. Inhalation can cause irritation of the respiratory tract, drowsiness, headache, dizziness, a burning sensation in the chest, and even unconsciousness. Ingestion can cause irritation of the digestive tract, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. When absorbed in the skin it can cause skin irritation and dermatitis. Contact with the eye can lead to pink eye or conjunctivitis, irritation and damage to the cornea. If swallowed it can vaporize and lead to aspiration into the lungs and health effects similar to those for inhalation.[10]


  1. PentaneFree MSDS search
  2. [1]Vladimir Ya. Lee Dr., Taka Yokoyama Dipl.-Chem., Kazunori Takanashi Dr., Akira Sekiguchi Prof. May 6th, 2009
  3. [2]Unknown
  4. [3],1-7-11
  5. SCIENCE CHEMISTRYDr. Colin France, Gcsescience, 2011
  6. [4] MSDS, 6/1/1999
  7. Fact SheetSEPA
  8. Fact SheetSEPA
  9. PENTANE--Industrial UsesGreen Media Toolshed, 2005
  10. Fact SheetSEPA