Higher alkanes

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Higher alkanes are alkanes having nine or more carbon atoms. Nonane is the lightest alkane to have a flash point above 25 °C, and so not to be classified as dangerously flammable.

The term higher alkanes is sometimes used literally as “alkanes with a higher number of carbon atoms”. One definition distinguishes the higher alkanes as the n-alkanes that are solid under natural conditions.[who?]

Uses[edit]

Alkanes from nonane to hexadecane (an alkane with sixteen carbon atoms) are liquids of higher viscosity, less and less suitable for use in gasoline. They form instead the major part of diesel and aviation fuel. Diesel fuels are characterised by their cetane number, cetane being an old name for hexadecane. However the higher melting points of these alkanes can cause problems at low temperatures and in polar regions, where the fuel becomes too thick to flow correctly. Mixtures of the normal alkanes are used as boiling point standards for simulated distillation by gas chromatography.[1]

Alkanes from hexadecane upwards form the most important components of fuel oil and lubricating oil. In latter function they work at the same time as anti-corrosive agents, as their hydrophobic nature means that water cannot reach the metal surface. Many solid alkanes find use as paraffin wax, for example in candles. This should not be confused however with bees wax, which consists primarily of esters.

Alkanes with a chain length of approximately 35 or more carbon atoms are found in bitumen (asphalt), used for example in road surfacing. However, the higher alkanes have little value and are usually split into lower alkanes by cracking.

Properties[edit]

The properties listed here refer to the straight-chain alkanes (or: n-alkanes).

Nonane to hexadecane[edit]

This group of n-alkanes is generally liquid under standard conditions.[2]

   Nonane   Decane   Undecane   Dodecane   Tridecane   Tetradecane   Pentadecane   Hexadecane 
Formula C9H20 C10H22 C11H24 C12H26 C13H28 C14H30 C15H32 C16H34
CAS number [111-84-2] [124-18-5] [1120-21-4] [112-40-3] [629-50-5] [629-59-4] [629-62-9] [544-76-3]
Molar mass (g/mol) 128.26 142.29 156.31 170.34 184.37 198.39 212.42 226.45
Melting point (°C) −53.5 −29.7 −25.6 −9.6 −5.4 5.9 9.9 18.2
Boiling point (°C) 150.8 174.1 195.9 216.3 235.4 253.5 270.6 286.8
Density (g/ml at 20 °C) 0.71763 0.73005 0.74024 0.74869 0.75622 0.76275 0.76830 0.77344
Viscosity (cP at 20 °C) 0.7139 0.9256 1.185 1.503 1.880 2.335 2.863 3.474
Flash point (°C) 31 46 60 71 102 99 132 135
Autoignition
temperature
(°C)
205 210   205   235   201
Explosive limits 0.9–2.9% 0.8–2.6%         0.45–6.5%  

Heptadecane to Tetracosane[edit]

From this group on, the n-alkanes are generally solid at standard conditions.

   Heptadecane   Octadecane   Nonadecane   Icosane   Heneicosane   Docosane   Tricosane   Tetracosane 
Formula C17H36 C18H38 C19H40 C20H42 C21H44 C22H46 C23H48 C24H50
CAS number [629-78-7] [593-45-3] [629-92-5] [112-95-8] [629-94-7] [629-97-0] [638-67-5] [646-31-1]
Molar mass (g/mol) 240.47 254.50 268.53 282.55 296.58 310.61 324.63 338.66
Melting point (°C) 21 28–30 32–34 36.7 40.5 42 48–50 52
Boiling point (°C) 302 317 330 342.7 356.5 224 at 2 kPa 380 391.3
Density (g/ml) 0.777 0.777 0.786 0.7886 0.792 0.778 0.797 0.797
Flash point (°C) 148 165 168          

Pentacosane to Triacontane[edit]

   Pentacosane   Hexacosane   Heptacosane   Octacosane   Nonacosane   Triacontane 
Formula C25H52 C26H54 C27H56 C28H58 C29H60 C30H62
CAS number [629-99-2] [630-01-3] [593-49-7] [630-02-4] [630-03-5] [638-68-6]
Molar mass (g/mol) 352.69 366.71 380.74 394.77 408.80 422.82
Melting point (°C) 54 56.4 59.5 64.5 63.7 65.8
Boiling point (°C) 401.9 412.2 422 431.6 440.8 449.7
Density (g/ml) 0.801 0.778 0.780 0.807 0.808 0.810

Hentriacontane to hexatriacontane[edit]

   Hentriacontane   Dotriacontane   Tritriacontane   Tetratriacontane   Pentatriacontane   Hexatriacontane 
Formula C31H64 C32H66 C33H68 C34H70 C35H72 C36H74
CAS number [630-04-6] [544-85-4] [630-05-7] [14167-59-0] [630-07-9] [630-06-8]
Molar mass (g/mol) 436.85 450.88 464.90 478.93 492.96 506.98
Melting point (°C) 67.9 69 70–72 72.6 75 74–76
Boiling point (°C) 458 467 474 285.4 at 0.4 kPa 490 265 at 130 Pa
Density (g/ml) 0.781 at 68 C[3] 0.812 0.811 0.812 0.813 0.814

Heptatriacontane to Dotetracontane[edit]

   Heptatriacontane   Octatriacontane   Nonatriacontane   Tetracontane   Hentetracontane   Dotetracontane 
Formula C37H76 C38H78 C39H80 C40H82 C41H84 C42H86
CAS number [7194-84-5] [7194-85-6] [7194-86-7] [4181-95-7] [7194-87-8] [7098-20-6]
Molar mass (g/mol) 520.99 535.03 549.05 563.08 577.11 591.13
Melting point (°C) 77 79 78 84 83 86
Boiling point (°C) 504.14 510.93 517.51 523.88 530.75 536.07
Density (g/ml) 0.815 0.816 0.817 0.817 0.818 0.819

Tritetracontane to Octatetracontane[edit]

   Triatetracontane   Tetratetracontane   Pentatetracontane   Hexatetracontane   Heptatetracontane   Octatetracontane 
Formula C43H88 C44H90 C45H92 C46H94 C47H96 C48H98
CAS Number [7098-21-7] [7098-22-8] [7098-23-9] [7098-24-0] [7098-25-1] [7098-26-2]
Molar mass (g/mol) 605.15 619.18 633.21 647.23 661.26 675.29
Boiling point (°C) 541.91 547.57 553.1 558.42 563.6 568.68
Density (g/ml) 0.82 0.82 0.821 0.822 0.822 0.823

Nonatetracontane to Tetrapentacontane[edit]

   Nonatetracontane   Pentacontane   Henpentacontane   Dopentacontane   Tripentacontane   Tetrapentacontane 
Formula C49H100 C50H102 C51H104 C52H106 C53H108 C54H110
CAS number [7098-27-3] [6596-40-3] [7667-76-7] [7719-79-1] [7719-80-4] [5856-66-6]
Molar mass (g/mol) 689.32 703.34 717.37 731.39 745.42 759.45
Boiling point (°C) 573.6 578.4 583 587.6 592 596.38
Density (g/ml) 0.823 0.824 0.824 0.825 0.825 0.826

References[edit]

  1. ^ ASTM D5399-09, Standard Test Method for Boiling Point Distribution of Hydrocarbon Solvents by Gas Chromatography
  2. ^ Karl Griesbaum, Arno Behr, Dieter Biedenkapp, Heinz-Werner Voges, Dorothea Garbe, Christian Paetz, Gerd Collin, Dieter Mayer Hartmut Höke "Hydrocarbons" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi: 10.1002/14356007.a13_227
  3. ^ Weast, Robert C., ed. (1982). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (63rd ed.). Boca Raton, Fl: CRC Press. p. C-561. 

External links[edit]