Butane is an an alkane with the chemical formula C4H10. As a type of hydrocarbon, it can undergo hydrocarbon combustion which gives off heat energy. Butane is one of the hydrocarbon components of raw natural gas, which is a type of fossil fuel. Butane is usually removed from natural gas before being shipped to customers, but then butane is sold separately as a fuel itself.
Butane is commonly mixed with propane in camping fuel in order to maintain higher pressures at low temperatures. Butane is also one of the main components in lighter fluid and is commonly used in cigarette lighters, portable stoves and butane torches. Figure 1 shows a butane torch used for cooking purposes.
Below is a table of some of the basic properties of butane.
|Molar mass||58.12 grams/mole|
|Energy density||49.5 MJ/kg|