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Butane Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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Butane, or n-butane, is the compound in which the carbon atoms are bonded in a straight chain; isobutane is the compound in which the carbon atoms are linked in a branched-chain. Both chemicals are found in natural gas and crude oil, and they are produced in huge amounts during the refinement of petroleum to make gasoline.

What is Butane?

Butane is a chemical compound under the category of Alkanes. it consists of 4 carbon atoms and 10 Hydrogen atoms. It is highly flammable and colorless easy liquifying gas. 

Generally, butane easily vaporizes at room temperature. The chemical formula is C4H10. Butane is also known as n-Butane, bonded with C – C and C – H covenant bonds. There is no electronegativity in C – C bond and little in C – H bond. This results in no charge separation and no dipole movement. Butane is under the group of Alkanes. Butane is also called Tetracarbane, Butyl hydride, and Quartane.

Structure of Butane

Butane consists of 4 carbon atoms and 10 Hydrogen atoms. commonly used as food prepollent and refrigerant. Butane is one of the chemical compounds of a group of liquified petroleum gases. It is highly flammable and colorless easy liquifying gas. The chemical formula is C4H10.


Properties of Butane

Physical Properties of Butane:

  • Butane is a colorless gas with a natural gas-like odour and is highly flammable.
  • The density of Butane is 2.48g.cm3 at 15°C.
  • The Melting point of Butane is -140°C to -134°C (or) -220°F to -209°F.
  • The Boiling point of Butane is -1°C to 1°C (or) 30°F to 34°F.
  • The solubility of butane in water is 61mg/L at 20°C (or) 68°F.
  • The Molar Mass of Butane is 58.124 g/mol.

Chemical Properties of Butane:

Butane reacts with oxygen and burns to form carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide and water, when oxygen is present in a sufficient amount as –

2 C4H10 + 13 O2  ⇢  8 CO2 + 10 H2O

In case when limited oxygen is present as – 

2 C4H10 + 9 O2  ⇢  8CO + 10 H2O

Butane reacts with Chlorine and forms Butyl chloride and hydrogen chloride.

C4H10 + Cl2  ⇢  C4H9Cl + HCl

Preparation of Butane

  • Wurtz Reaction – Wurtz’s reaction is an organic chemical coupling reaction in which sodium metal reacts with two alkyl halides in the presence of a dry ether solution to produce a higher alkane as well as a molecule containing sodium and the halogen. Butane is prepared by the reaction of bromoethane with metallic Na in presence of dry ether as:


  • Kolbe’s Electrolysis Process – During this reaction on electrolysis, sodium butanoate will give butane as.

2CH3CH2CH2-COONa  ⇢  CH3CH2CH2CH3   +  2CO2  +  NaOH  +  H2

Uses of Butane

Butane is a component of gasoline and fuel gas that has a number of applications. We may also employ butane in the extraction of fragrances and the manufacture of certain chemical compounds like butadiene at low temperatures. Butane is used in the chemical industry to make synthetic rubber and other substances such as plastic and sprays.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What are the disadvantages of Butane?


Butane has several applications as well as disadvantages, In small quantities there is no effect, If the person was highly exposed to Butane, it causes cardiac arrest, Central nervous system depression, Cancer, Drowsiness, Unconsciousness, Temporary memory loss, Blood pressure fluctuations and some times may lead to death

Question 2: What are the different types of Butane?


Butane is under the group of Alkanes, It is a highly flammable easy liquifying gas. It can be found as two structural isomers that are n-butane and isobutane or sometimes a combination of both.

Question 3: Where is butane found?


Generally, butane occurs in natural gas, In natural gas, butane presents an extent of 1 percent. the butane will stay in the air for about 40 minutes. And also butane occurs in petroleum, In petroleum, Butane is present in a very small amount. 

Question 4: Can Butane Evaporate?


Butane evaporates at atmospheric pressure. Butane changes liquid immediately when compressed and then immediately turns to gas with reduced pressure, that is the reason for Butane using in Lighters.

Question 5: What are the isomers of Butane?


The butane is under the group of alkanes and the molecular formula is C4H10. Butane consists of 2 isomers that are n-butane and isobutane.

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Last Updated : 30 Apr, 2022
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