Pentane is an alkane with the formula C5H12. As a hydrocarbon, it can undergo hydrocarbon combustion which gives off heat. Traces of pentane can be found in raw natural gas, which is a type of fossil fuel. This pentane is usually removed before being shipped to customers as an energy currency.
Pentane is a volatile, colourless liquid with a characteristic gasoline-like odour. In addition to being a component of natural gas, pentane has numerous industrial uses. Primarily, pentane is used to create a blowing agent which is then used to create a foam known as polystyrene. Polystyrene is used to make insulation materials for refrigerators and heating pipes. As well, pentane is used in geothermal power stations as a binary fluid, due to its low boiling point (36oC).
Below is a table of some of the basic properties of pentane.
|Molar mass||72.15 grams/mole|
As is the case with other hydrocarbons, pentane undergoes hydrocarbon combustion, combining with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. The balanced chemical equation for the complete combustion of pentane is: