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A "bastard" gas?[edit]

In King of the Hill Hank refers to butane as a "bastard gas". Does this mean anything or is it just a gag line, i.e. Hank's prejudice? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:594F:9900:C44F:5924:E05C:BC69 (talk) 17:35, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

According to here; It is because it does not burn clean. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:594F:9900:C44F:5924:E05C:BC69 (talk) 17:38, 29 August 2016 (UTC)


It seems Butane is quite lethal when inhaled, can we get something on this plz

Split isomer pages[edit]

Perhaps it would have been better to split into one n-butane and one isobutane subpage?

An article this short? it's barely 1 screen in length. we'd just get 2 stubs -- Tarquin 20:09 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Butane abuse[edit]

I read something about 'butane abuse'. Who can enligthen the world on this subject?

Vapor pressure data[edit]

Does anyone have a pressure/temperature chart or table for Butane? If so, could it be added to this page?

Vapor pressure for n-Butane is 2.05 atm (NIOSH)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2005, Sept). NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. pg 35. Publication No. 2005-149. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I found a pressure-temperature-volume chart in a paper published by Standard Oil. I imprecisely picked a point at 50 degrees F, perhaps someone has a better reference? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Hair mousse[edit]

I wanted 2 c what my hair products contain and found that iso butane is one of the ingredients in a hair mousse bottle. It was listed as no.4. Why so much and what does it really do there??? xxx

It's used as a propellant, to drive the product out of the container (I'm guessing it's a spray can?) Propane, butane and isobutane are common propellants for hair care products, and largely responsible for the flammability of such. The propellant evaporates completely from the product after it is applied. --GalFisk 12:41, 19 September 2005 (UTC)


It was not clear to me from the artical the origin of the gas, is a modified version of gas from the ground like you cook with or perhaps a petrolium derivative or from another source altoghether?

I've found out since its a petroleum (crude oil) derivative in a family called "aliphatic hydrocarbons" basically various combinations of carbon and hydrogen molecules, I think all the articals about the various members the family all very much stand-alone and would be good to see them all standardsed all well as having articals about advantages/disadvantages of butane over propane like butane burns hotter but is not good at cold tempratures

As for standardization, I'm in the process of trying to do something about this. You are quite right about the fact that this article should have something about why do we sometimes use butane and sometimes propane: butane is cheaper to put into a user-friendly form, but useless much below 0 °C (32 °F), to answer your question far too quickly! Physchim62 (talk·RfA) 15:17, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Could the article explain what the origin of the two isomers is? That is, do the two isomers arise in the natural petroleum formations in some "normal" ratio or is one form predominate in certain situations? Does the 'iso-' form break down into the 'n-' form or vice versa? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


I thought I might add that some extremely stupid people inhale it for a high and it is highly lethal. It freezes your neuro system. Should a well researched section on this be added warning people of the dangers?

We need a source for the uses... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


i added a short section on inhalation dangers, i hope you smarties can find big words and the real names of the symptoms (thinks its cardiac arythmia) i just felt i needed to get the word out (revolution!!!1!11) since I almost once died from butane not knowing the dangers.

Certainly well intentioned recommendations, but IMHO most people understand that breathing stuff other than air is a bad idea. Otherwise every chemical article on a gas would require a warning. And the article on sledgehammers would require a warning about the dangers of hitting oneself on the head, etc.--Smokefoot 15:40, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

LPG <-> Butane?[edit]

LPG contains mixtures of methane up to pentane, while butane gas jars contain quite pure butane. --Deryck C. 08:14, 29 December 2006 (UTC) butane is bad. Period. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Boiling/Melting point?[edit]

Can somebody tell me where these two numbers come from? Because I've read several Material Safety Data Sheets and none reads those numbers. In fact they say that the melting and boiling point are not defined. I've changed the points to "Not defined", and will not change it back until someone gives me a straight answer! --The REAL Teol 16:52, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The boiling and melting points of n-butane and isobutane are available in the 67th edition of the CRC as follows (celsius scale).

No. 3672 n-butane b.p.: -0.5, m.p.: -138. No. 3808 isobutane b.p.: -11.7, m.p.: -159.4

This issue came up (for me) as I have my students look up these values as part of a laboratory exercise. We have used the Aldrich Chemical Company's catalog in the past with mixed results, the data is not always reported. I imagine a company's MSDS will give similar results.

I have editted the physical data to reflect this information.--Doug Flournoy 17:26, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Very good point. Such physical data is not always up to date or (especially in the case of the alkanes) easy to get hold of. The International Chemical Safety Cards quote −0.5 °C/−138 °C for butane and −12 °C/−160 °C for isobutane (2-methylpropane). Until we figure out the problem (which IMHO is due to old sources and contaminated samples), I suggest that we go with these values. Physchim62 (talk) 13:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
See also the NIST webbook [1][2] which lists individual data points with dates. Femto 14:51, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Pressure release[edit]

If you had a container of pressurized liquid butane and then let out the pressure what would happen? It would start to boil after a while but at the moment you released the pressure would some immediately evaporate, or not. How long would it take to get to boiling point? Ozone 02:08, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Such containers are commercially available, they are called cigarette lighters!
  • gaseous butane escapes
  • liquid butane evaporates to ensure the equilibrium of the vapour pressure
  • the remaining liquid butane is cooled by the need to transfer the enthalpy of vapourization to the butane which evaporates
  • this loss of heat is compensated by heat from the enviroment (eg, a smoker's hand)
as the boiling point of butane is only 4 °C, the thermodynamics of the changes are only usually noted in exam papers... Physchim62 (talk) 16:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Butane Temperature[edit]

Do you guys think butane is hot enough to melt salt (sodium chloride salt)? I just got a portable butane stove and I was going to use it to melt some salt in a pyrex plat and make pure sodium. Does butane melt salt and will it get the dish hot enough (given time) to melt the salt? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:03, 23 April 2007 (UTC).

Popular Culture[edit]

Do we really need the one pop culture reference from King of the Hill? Ubern00b 02:08, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Butane orange[edit]

Is the orange color of butane cylinders some kind of standard? Where? -- (talk) 16:20, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Erotic legends[edit]

Are the erotic legends associated to butane cylinder deliverers to the home worthy of mention? -- (talk) 16:20, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

== Butane as a propellent in aerosols Is it true that butane is a greenhouse gas 10x worse than CO2? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:10, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Article to be renamed BUTANES[edit]

I propose that we should have a single article called Butanes, and then we shall be right. As it is, we are wrong. The two compounds, n-butane and i-butane are different, they are isomers, and what is the point of learning about isomers at school if we then ignore them? There is separate information on their volatilities and boiling points and vapour phase properties, for instance, so why be wrong, when we can be right? We are striving for respect.
I have two references for isobutane, both in Perry, J.H.(editor) Chem Engineers' Handbook 3rd edition (1950) I have no access to later edition. The properties of saturated i-butane and superheated i-butane on tables, are in Section 3 Physical and Chemical data on Table 223 and Table 224, page 264. The data were first published in 1938 (i.e. 70 years ago, i.e. not copyright)
The vapor pressure data of the pure compound in the same section on Table 7. have been originally collected and published by Stull, D.H. in Ind Eng.Chem. 39, 517 (1947) i.e. 60 years old. It is possible that the publishers' (McGraw-Hill Book Company, N-Y, Toronto-London) permission is needed.
What is the isomer composition of the material showing the properties in the databox?
LouisBB (talk) 23:04, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with renaming the article. We already have separate articles for butane and isobutane as they are different compounds. While in a few cases it is common practice to lump all isomers together (e.g., xylenes), I don't think that's the case here. Maybe some cleanup here is needed and some information on isobutane that crept into this article should be moved out to its own article. --Itub (talk) 12:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Elementary Synthesis of the X-tanes[edit]

Can any of these hydrocarbon substances be synthesized in a relatively simple process from basic substances, say, from water and carbon dioxide with some sort of energy input ? . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the Fischer-Tropsch process? --Itub (talk) 10:46, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
In theory, there should be some way of polymerising methane to make propane, butane, etc., but I don't know if it has been done. It's probably not currently economically viable compared to getting it out of the ground. If I could find a reference to this, it'd be in the articles about propane and butane by now. :-) --Athol Mullen (talk) 13:30, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

No, the idea is to start with primary raw materials, NOT fossilstuff and to contribute no new carbon to the environment. Simplistic - Yes. Can something like it be done ? We will never know unless we ask.

Raw Material : Carbon Dioxide, Water;
Source of energy : Solar, Geothermal, Nuclear;
Product : Liquid transportation fuel.

. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Of course it can be done; it's just not economic yet. Perhaps when the barrel of oil reaches $400 it will, though! --Itub (talk) 21:10, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Err. Methane is a renewable energy source when produced by the breaking down of waste such as sewage or rotting garbage. That's why using it as a feedstock to make propane and/or butane would make sense from a renewable energy perspective. Nonetheless, I think that we're straying a long way from improving this article now. --Athol Mullen (talk) 04:07, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Have you a specific sort of scheme in mind or is this just generic certainty ?

Cost is one of the very least stable attributes in any industrial process for it depends upon both scale and all the potential of the ingenuity which has not yet been exercised. Hardly any of the materials and methods of these times started out as anything but grossly prohibitively expensive, the silicon chip being one of the best examples ! . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Somebody find a paper that says scientists are trying to make fuels from H2O and CO2 or from CH4. Otherwise let's avoid all talk of it in the article, so as to satisfy WP:OR.
Ben (talk) 11:36, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Research into the synthesis of fuels from CO2 and H2O has been successfuly conducted at the Los Alamos National Laboratories --

Converting methane gas to fuel is pointless on two counts -- 1) It is ALREADY a useable fuel and 2) It is or is derived from fossil hydrocarbons. . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

You have been quiet, Ben —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Flammability Issues in Refrigeration[edit]

This article states that flammability is not an issue due to small amounts of butane in refrigeration devices. One shoud consider that butane is substantially more dense than air, 58g/mol vs 29g/mol for air. Butane can accumulate in low spots and serve as a conduit for ignition. A quick literature search finds no instance of such events, but it is perhaps lax not to mention the possibility. Comments? Norm Reitzel (talk) 04:13, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The article said "The flammability of butane is not a major issue because the amount of butane in an appliance is not enough to cause a combustible mix given the amount of air in a room." This sentence indeed seems quite dubious; the amount of butane in a refrigerator is surely be large enough to start a fire or explosion. Methinks that the risk can be ignored because the gas is contained inside a sealed metal enclosure (tubing and compressor) that cannot be easily breached by accident. In any case I have removed the phrase, as it is not essential. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 14:27, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Wrong image[edit]

The picture labelled "iso-butane" in the two-image gallery does not show iso-butane, but iso-propane (which is a chain of three C's as in the picture, not four C's as butane really is). I am commenting out the code in hope that the person who originally uploaded the image will fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobber0001 (talkcontribs) 11:44, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I've undone your edit because the image was fine. See isobutane.
Ben (talk) 13:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it seems that it is I who made a mistake, not the person that put up the image. Note this: chemistry + lack of sleep = bad Wikipedia edits. I even forgot to sign. Everything seems to be in order now - thank you for reverting my edit. Bobber0001 (talk) 10:34, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
No problem, no harm done.
Ben (talk) 11:20, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


removed "odorless" from butane's description. it most certainly does have a odor to it, but i will leave it to someone with a more finely tuned olfactory apparatus to describe exactly what it smells like. to me it smells a little like propane yet distinctly different somehow. definitely NOT odorless! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

  • The odor given in the article should be that of the *pure* compound. Even small amounts of impurity (e.g. in technical-grade butane) may change an odorless gas into a smelly one. Since the attribute is dispute, I will remove the reference to the odor until the issue is resolved (presumably by a reference that both sides can trust.) All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 22:05, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It is my understanding (as a mechanical engineer who deals with LPG, not as a chemical engineer or having any chemical background) that Butane does not have an odor and that the smell of Butane, or for that matter Propane, is the additive 'stenching' that was added. I believe this is ethyl mercaptan and have seen a mercaptan injection setup where propane and butane arrived 'unstenched' to be stored and then delivered to domestic and commercial users. The stenching additive allows us to detect a leak of LPG which might otherwise go undetected. Without the stenching additive propane and butane are used in aerosols (deoderant wouldn't have the same effect if the propellant smelt like rotting eggs). I've not got any references to provide for this information as it comes from my experiences in this line of work but hopefully this will point someone in the right direction? Markcra (talk) 14:30, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I am no expert and claim no great knowledge, but I have had occasion to work with a variety of consumer 'butane fuel' products, as well as commercially pure isobutane and n-butane. There is obviously a stink when products have thiols (mercaptans) added for safety reasons, such as municipal natural gas supplies, LPG in cooking bottles, etc. However even when dealing with products lacking apparent odorant, including industrially supplied, commercially pure n-butane, I definitely perceive a slight, sweetish odor when small amounts are released during fueling and transfer. Now whether this is the 'smell of butane' or simply the odor of trace olefin impurities, I cannot say. (talk) 23:30, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Derivation of the name and organic nomenclature[edit]

The article currently says that "the name butane comes from the roots but- (from butyric acid) and -ane." But that's wrong. "But-" is the standard prefix for a four-carbon chain. If anything, the stated etymology is backwards. Randy_Seltzer (talk) 20:24, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

The reference to butyric acid is correct but doesn't go far enough as an explanation as to why the IUPC prefix for four is "but-." According to Etymology Online, "but-" is derived "from butyl, hydrocarbon from butyric acid, a product of fermentation found in rancid butter, from Latin butyrum." Label linkDbkmd (talk) 03:21, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

King of the Hill reference[edit]

In a King of the Hill episode Bobby says " My dad says butane is a bastard gas." PortlandOregon97217 (talk) 00:34, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Ref and clarification needed[edit]

Regarding the use of butane as a refrigerant, the article has: The system operating pressure for butane is lower than for the halomethanes, such as R-12, so R-12 systems such as in automotive air conditioning systems, when converted to butane will not function optimally. This is unreferenced, and makes little sense. Surely if a system is converted to use butane instead of some other refrigerant it will function "optimally"; this is the point of conversion. If the article is trying to say that refrigeration systems using butane are less effective, or less efficient (a different thing) than those using halocarbons then it should say so. (talk) 23:10, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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