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ethane(ĕth`ān), CH3CH3, gaseous hydrocarbon. It is a continuous-chain alkanealkane
, any of a group of aliphatic hydrocarbons whose molecules contain only single bonds (see chemical bond). Alkanes have the general chemical formula CnH2n+2.
..... Click the link for more information. . As a constituent of natural gas, it is used for fuel. It can be prepared by cracking and fractional distillation of petroleum.
CH3—CH3, a saturated hydrocarbon that takes the form of a colorless, odorless, flammable gas.
Ethane has a melting point of – 183.27°C and a boiling point of – 88.63°C. The explosive limits of ethane in air are 3 and 12 percent by volume.
Ethane is formed in the dry distillation of coal and in the refining of petroleum (seePETROLEUM REFINING GASES). It is found in natural gas (though in far smaller proportions than methane) and in petroleum by-product gases. Ethane is industrially separated from these gases and used (generally in a mixture with propane) for the production of ethylene and ethyl chloride. The chlorination, nitration, and oxidation of ethane yield compounds that are used in industrial organic synthesis.