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Butane Chemical Properties - manufacturing, Applications, Drawbacks, Structure and Characteristics

Butane, having the chemical formula C4H10, is a hydrocarbon. It's an alkane that exists as a gas at room temperature. Edward Frankland, a British chemist, developed it in 1849. Although Edmund Ronalds, an English industrial chemist, noted its numerous qualities. He discovered butane in crude oil and investigated its qualities. To put it another way, butane is a member of the paraffin hydrocarbon series, which has four carbon atoms and ten hydrogen atoms. Butane is a saturated hydrocarbon because all of its carbon atoms have single bonds.

Structure of Butane

Butane's chemical formula is C4H10, as previously stated. Butane is its IUPAC name. The prefix 'But' stands for the four carbon atoms found in butane, while the suffix 'ane' comes from the alkane series, indicating that butane is a member of the alkane homologous series and is saturated in nature. Butane is conveniently represented by the alkanes' general formula, CnH2n+2, where n is any positive integer or number of carbon atoms. When the value of 'n' in the general formula C4H2.4+2= C4H10 is substituted for butane, the result is C4H2.4+2= C4H10. Butane is a saturated hydrocarbon having four carbon atoms and 10 hydrogen atoms (single bond between carbon atoms).

Butane, also known as n-butane, is a gas with a linear chain structure with covalent connections between C and C. There are four sigma bonds between each carbon atom. As a result, each carbon atom has a tetrahedral structure and is sp3 hybridised.

Butane's Characteristics

The following are some of the physical properties of butane:

  • C4H10 is the molecular formula, and C2H5 is the empirical formula.
  • Butane has a boiling point of -1 to 1°C.
  • It's quite flammable.
  • At room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it is a gas.
  • It's an odourless, colourless gas.
  • It has a gasoline-like odour.
  • It's simple to liquify, and liquified butane gas is simple to convert to vapour at room temperature.
  • Butane has a molar mass of 58.124g/mol.
  • At 15°C, its density is 2.48kg/m3.
  • It has a low water solubility. At 68°F, its solubility in water is 61mg per litre.

Butane's Chemical Properties

The following are some of the chemical features of butane:
When butane comes into contact with oxygen, it produces carbon dioxide and water vapour. The following is a list of responses:
2C4H10 + 13O2 🡪 8CO2 + 10H2O + Energy

When the amount of oxygen available is limited, carbon monoxide and water vapour are produced. The following is a list of responses:
2C4H10 + 13O2 🡪 8CO2 + 10H2O

Butane interacts with chlorine to generate butyl chloride and hydrogen chloride (HCl). The following is a list of responses:
2C4H10 + Cl2 🡪 C4H9Cl + HCl

Butane interacts with iodine to generate 2-iodobutane and hydrogen iodide in the presence of iodine. The following is a list of responses:
2C4H10 + I2 🡪 C4H9I + HI

Butane manufacturing

Butane is a fossil fuel that is naturally formed deep inside the ground from the leftovers of deceased plants and animals. Natural gas is discovered deep within the ground. Butane is made by fractional distillation of crude oil. We also receive kerosene, diesel, heavy gas oil, and other goods as a result of this operation.
Fractional distillation is the process of utilising a fractionating column to separate various components of a liquid mixture based on their differing boiling points. Petroleum refining is the fractional distillation of crude oil.

Butane's Applications

Butane is a fossil fuel that has a wide range of applications. Listed below are a few of its applications –

  • It is widely utilized as a fuel for a variety of applications.
  • It's one among the LPG's components (Liquified petroleum gas).
  • It is used in the blending of gasoline.
  • It is an important synthetic rubber raw material.
  • In refineries, isobutane is used.
  • It's utilized in the steam cracking process.
  • It is used as a propellant in deodorants and aerosol sprays.
  • Cigarette lighters use it as a fuel source.
  • Isobutane, one of its isomers, is utilized in refrigerants.
  • It's also found in air conditioning systems.
  • It can also be used to power a butane torch.
  • It is used as a fuel in camping stoves, grills, and other similar devices. However, butane transportation must be done with extreme caution.

Butane is a non-greenhouse gas that does not emit smoke when burned. It has no impact on the ozone layer of the atmosphere. As a result, we might conclude that butane is a green gas or fuel.

Butane Drawbacks: Is Butane Toxic to Humans?

Butane, as previously said, has a wide range of uses and makes our lives easier. It does, however, have significant drawbacks. Butane's toxicity is quite low, and exposure to low or medium amounts of butane has no negative consequences. However, exposure to high quantities can result in cardiac consequences, cancer, or depression of the central nervous system. Inhaling butane can cause euphoria, drowsiness, unconsciousness, suffocation, and other symptoms. It could also result in momentary memory loss, blood pressure fluctuations, or death. If it gets into the bloodstream, it induces drunkenness in seconds.

Carbon monoxide is formed when butane is burned in a small amount of oxygen, and continuous inhalation of carbon monoxide can be fatal. Contact with liquefied butane gas can result in long-term eye injury. It can also cause skin irritation and numbness.

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