Butane vs. Hexane - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Butane and Hexane is that the Butane is a An alkane with four carbon atoms and Hexane is a chemical compound.


  • Butane

    Butane () is an organic compound with the formula C4H10 that is an alkane with four carbon atoms. Butane is a gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The term may refer to either of two structural isomers, n-butane or isobutane (also called "methylpropane"), or to a mixture of these isomers. In the IUPAC nomenclature, however, "butane" refers only to the n-butane isomer (which is the isomer with the unbranched structure). Butanes are highly flammable, colorless, easily liquefied gases that quickly vaporize at room temperature. The name butane comes from the roots but- (from butyric acid, named after the Greek word for butter) and -ane. It was discovered by the chemist Edward Frankland in 1849. It was found dissolved in crude petroleum in 1864 by Edmund Ronalds, who was the first to describe its properties.

  • Hexane

    Hexane is an alkane of six carbon atoms, with the chemical formula C6H14. The term may refer to any of the five structural isomers with that formula, or to a mixture of them. In IUPAC nomenclature, however, hexane is the unbranched isomer (n-hexane); the other four isomers are named as methylated derivatives of pentane and butane. IUPAC also uses the term as the root of many compounds with a linear six-carbon backbone, such as 2-methylhexane. Hexanes are significant constituents of gasoline. They are all colorless liquids, odorless when pure, with boiling points between 50 and 70 °C (122 and 158 °F). They are widely used as cheap, relatively safe, largely unreactive, and easily evaporated non-polar solvents.


  • Butane (noun)

    A hydrocarbon (either of the two isomers of C4H10 n-butane, and 2-methyl-propane) found in gaseous petroleum fractions.

  • Butane (noun)

    The n-butane isomer only.

  • Hexane (noun)

    Any of five isomeric aliphatic hydrocarbons, C6H14. They are colorless, volatile liquids.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Hexane (noun)

    a colourless liquid hydrocarbon of the alkane series, present in petroleum spirit.

Webster Dictionary

  • Butane (noun)

    An inflammable gaseous saturated hydrocarbon, C4H10, of the marsh gas, or paraffin, series.

  • Hexane (noun)

    Any one of five hydrocarbons, C6H14, of the paraffin series. They are colorless, volatile liquids, and are so called because the molecule has six carbon atoms.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Butane (noun)

    occurs in natural gas; used in the manufacture of rubber and fuels

  • Hexane (noun)

    a colorless flammable liquid alkane derived from petroleum and used as a solvent



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