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Stuctural formula of icosane
Ball and stick model of the icosane molecule
IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.653
EC Number 204-018-1
MeSH eicosane
Molar mass 282.56 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless, waxy crystals
Odor Odorless
Melting point 36 to 38 °C; 97 to 100 °F; 309 to 311 K
Boiling point 343.1 °C; 649.5 °F; 616.2 K
log P 10.897
31 μmol Pa−1 kg−1
602.5 J K−1 mol−1 (at 6.0 °C)
558.6 J K−1 mol−1
Flash point > 113 °C (235 °F; 386 K)
Related compounds
Related alkanes
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Icosane (alternative spelling eicosane) is an alkane with the chemical formula C20H42. It has 366,319 constitutional isomers.

Icosane has little use in the petrochemical industry, as its high flash point makes it an inefficient fuel. n-Icosane (the straight-chain structural isomer of icosane) is the shortest compound found in paraffin waxes used to form candles.

Icosane's size, state or chemical inactivity does not exclude it from the traits its smaller alkane counterparts have. It is a colorless, non-polar molecule, nearly unreactive except when it burns. It is less dense than and insoluble in water. Its non-polar trait means it can only perform weak intermolecular bonding (hydrophobic/van der Waals forces).

Icosane's phase transition at a moderate temperature makes it a candidate phase change material, or PCM which can be used to store thermal energy and control temperature.


IUPAC currently recommends icosane,[2] whereas Chemical Abstracts Service and Beilstein use eicosane.[3]


  1. ^ "eicosane - Compound Summary". PubChem Compound. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 16 September 2004. Identification and Related Records. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Table 11 Basic numerical terms (multiplying affixes)". IUPAC. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Footnote for Table 11". IUPAC. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 

External links[edit]

  • Icosane at Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases