Skeletal formula of butane with all carbon and hydrogen atoms shown
Skeletal formula of butane with all implicit hydrogens shown
Ball-and-stick model of the butane molecule
Space-filling model of the butane molecule
Preferred IUPAC name
Systematic IUPAC name
Tetracarbane (never recommended[3])
Other names
Butyl hydride;[1] Quartane;[2] R600
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.136 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 203-448-7
E number E943a (glazing agents, ...)
MeSH butane
RTECS number
  • EJ4200000
UN number 1011
  • InChI=1S/C4H10/c1-3-4-2/h3-4H2,1-2H3 checkY
  • CCCC
Molar mass 58.124 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless gas
Odor Gasoline-like or natural gas-like[1]
Density 2.48 kg/m3 (at 15 °C (59 °F))
Melting point −140 to −134 °C; −220 to −209 °F; 133 to 139 K
Boiling point −1 to 1 °C; 30 to 34 °F; 272 to 274 K
61 mg/L (at 20 °C (68 °F))
log P 2.745
Vapor pressure ~170 kPa at 283 K [4]
11 nmol Pa−1 kg−1
Conjugate acid Butanium
−57.4·10−6 cm3/mol
98.49 J/(K·mol)
−126.3–−124.9 kJ/mol
−2.8781–−2.8769 MJ/mol
GHS labelling:
GHS02: Flammable GHS04: Compressed Gas
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point −60 °C (−76 °F; 213 K)
405 °C (761 °F; 678 K)
Explosive limits 1.8–8.4%
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
REL (Recommended)
TWA 800 ppm (1900 mg/m3)[1]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
1600 ppm[1]
Related compounds
Related alkanes
Related compounds
Supplementary data page
Butane (data page)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Butane (/ˈbjuːtn/) or n-butane is an alkane with the formula C4H10. Butane is a highly flammable, colorless, easily liquefied gas that quickly vaporizes at room temperature and pressure. The name butane comes from the root but- (from butyric acid, named after the Greek word for butter) and the suffix -ane. It was discovered in crude petroleum in 1864 by Edmund Ronalds, who was the first to describe its properties,[6][7] and commercialized by Walter O. Snelling in early 1910s.

Butane is one of a group of liquefied petroleum gases (LP gases). The others include propane, propylene, butadiene, butylene, isobutylene, and mixtures thereof. Butane burns more cleanly than both gasoline and coal.

  1. ^ a b c d e NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0068". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  2. ^ August Wilhelm Von Hofmann (1867). "I. On the action of trichloride of phosphorus on the salts of the aromatic monamines". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. 15: 54–62. doi:10.1098/rspl.1866.0018. S2CID 98496840.
  3. ^ a b "Front Matter". Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry: IUPAC Recommendations and Preferred Names 2013 (Blue Book). Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry. 2014. p. 4. doi:10.1039/9781849733069-FP001. ISBN 978-0-85404-182-4. Similarly, the retained names 'ethane', 'propane', and 'butane' were never replaced by systematic names 'dicarbane', 'tricarbane', and 'tetracarbane' as recommended for analogues of silane, 'disilane'; phosphane, 'triphosphane'; and sulfane, 'tetrasulfane'.
  4. ^ W. B. Kay (1940). "Pressure-Volume-Temperature Relations for n-Butane". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry. 32 (3): 358–360. doi:10.1021/ie50363a016.
  5. ^ "Safety Data Sheet, Material Name: N-Butane" (PDF). USA: Matheson Tri-Gas Incorporated. 5 February 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  6. ^ Watts, H.; Muir, M. M. P.; Morley, H. F. (1894). Watts' Dictionary of Chemistry. Vol. 4. Longmans, Green. p. 385.
  7. ^ Maybery, C. F. (1896). "On the Composition of the Ohio and Canadian Sulphur Petroleums". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 31: 1–66. doi:10.2307/20020618. JSTOR 20020618.

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