Figure 1. Ball and stick model of decane, the white is hydrogen and the black is carbon.[1]

Decane is an alkane with the chemical formula C10H22. As a type of hydrocarbon, it can undergo hydrocarbon combustion which gives off heat energy. Decane is a colourless liquid with a strong odour.[2] This organic molecule is a major component of diesel fuel and is also used in paint manufacturing as a hydrocarbon solvent.


Below is a table of some of the basic properties of decane.

Chemical formula C10H22
Molar mass 142.3 grams/mole
Energy density 44.2 MJ/kg [3]
Melting Point -30oC[4]
Boiling Point 174oC[4]

Combustion Reaction

Like all hydrocarbons, decane undergoes hydrocarbon combustion when used as a fuel. The balanced chemical equation for the complete combustion of decane is:

2 C10H22 + 31 O2 → 20 CO2 + 22 H2O + Heat Energy (Enthalpy)

The hydrocarbon combustion reaction releases heat energy and is an example of an exothermic reaction. The reaction also has a negative enthalpy change (ΔH) value.

For Further Reading


  1. "Decane-3D-balls-B" Derivative of File:Butane-3D-balls.png, itself a derivative of File:Propan-1-ol-3D-balls.png.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2015). Decane - Compound Summary[Online]. Available: [February 16, 2015].
  3. Glenn Elert. (2015). The Physics Hypertextbook - Chemical Potential Energy [Online]. Available: [February 16, 2015].
  4. 4.0 4.1 Charles E. Ophardt. (2003). Virtual Chembook - Hydrocarbon Boiling Points [Online]. Available: [February 16,2015].