Hexane () is an organic compound, a straight-chain alkane with six carbon atoms and has the molecular formula C6H14.
Pure n-Hexane is a colorless liquid with a slightly disagreeable odor. It is highly flammable, and its vapors can be explosive.
n-Hexane can react vigorously with oxidizing materials such as liquid chlorine, concentrated oxygen, and sodium hypochlorite. n-Hexane will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings.
Hexane Physical Properties
|Density||0.659 g/mL at 25ºC|
Hexane is a chemical commonly extracted from petroleum and crude oil. It is a colorless liquid that gives off a subtle, gasoline-like odor. Hexane is highly flammable, yet it can be found in many household products such as stain removers for arts and crafts projects.
Hexane has been widely used for oil extraction because of easy oil recovery, narrow boiling point (63–69 °C) and excellent solubilizing ability . In contrary, while in extraction and recovery processes, hexane is released into the environment that react with the pollutants to form ozone and photo chemicals .
Easily inhaled or absorbed through the skin, hexane has been recognized for more than 40 years to cause long-lasting and even permanent nerve damage in feet, legs, hands, and arms. Existing regulations do not address consumer use and are not protective enough for workplace exposures.
All five hexane constitutional isomers have the same molecular formula, C6H14, and the same molecular weight, 86. However, each one of the hexanes has a unique boiling point.
Constitutional (structural) Isomers:
|# of Carbons||Acyclic Alkane||# of Isomers|
Thus neither hexane nor iodine dissolves in water. Polar and ionic solutes do not dissolve in non-polar solvents because they have a stronger attraction for each other than for the non-polar solvent molecules.
The main toxic effect reported for n-hexane in human studies is degenerative distal axonopathy in the peripheral nervous system, which is caused by the main toxic metabolite 2,5-hexanedione (2,5-HD).
Hexane-free castor oils do not use the solvent hexane during the extraction process (all cold-pressed castor oils are hexane-free). Expeller-pressed oils may use this solvent, which is a chemical.