Formula Mole Weight Critical Pressure Critical Temperature
C10H22 142.29 304.21 psia 652.1 F


General Description:

The hydrocarbon decane consists of ten carbons and twenty-two hydrogens.  Classified as an alkane, or paraffin, hydrogen saturates the carbon atoms via covalent single bonds.  Derived from the Latin term parum affinis, meaning “little affinity” for other compounds, paraffins  are known for their stability and resistance to reactivity.  Alkanes such as decane are nonpolar, thus insoluble in polar solvents such as water.

Alkanes may be separated into fractions via distillation.  The lowest boiling point (3-4 carbons) is used as fuel in cigarette lighters and barbecues.  Gasoline follows in the next distillation fraction (5-11 Carbons), next kerosene and jet fuel (9-16 carbons), then diesel fuel (15-25 carbons), and the highest boiling point fractionation provides lubricants and greases (26+ carbons).  The greater the branching of a hydrocarbon chain, the greater the stability of the molecule and the higher the boiling point. A colorless, odorless, nontoxic, yet flammable gas, ethane is a constituent of natural gas and petroleum (75% Methane, 25% Ethane, Propane, and Butane).  These “fossil fuels” were formed through the decomposition of organic matter over thousands of years and today provide a major energy source.  Large amounts of the element may also be located in the atmospheres of Saturn and Jupiter.

Pressure, psia 14.7 50 100
Temperature, F 400 500 600
Compressibility, (Z) 0.949 0.884 0.841
Enthalpy, Btu/lb (h)  278.8 334.8 395.7
Entropy, Btu/lb-R (s) 0.9756 1.0214 1.0734
Specific Heat, Btu/mol-R(Cp) 0.584 0.646 0.702
k, (Cp/Cv)  1.025 1.022 1.020
Sonic velocity, ft/sec 528 520 520
Specific volume, ft3/lb 4.19 1.28 0.0672
Dynamic viscosity, lb/ft-sec 5.67E-06 6.46E-06 7.42E-06



1) Gas Flex, Flexware, Inc., Grapeville, PA, USA
2) Organic Chemistry, Paula Yurkanis Bruice, University of California, Prentice Hall, NJ, 1998
3) General Chemistry, Darrell D. Ebbing, Wayne State University, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996

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Flexware, Inc.  2005
Jeannette, PA USA

page updated May 21, 2005