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The conformation (shape) of pentane is linear, similar to that of butane, but one carbon atom longer.
The branched isomers are more stable than pentane, which means that they have lower heat of formation and heat of combustion. Isopentane is more stable than pentane by 1.8 kcal/mol, and neopentane by 5 kcal/mol.
Being an unfunctionalized hydrocarbon, pentane is a commodity chemical. It is mainly a fuel and a solvent, although it also could be used as a source of H2 via steam reforming.
As the most volatile hydrocarbon that is liquid at room temperature, pentane is often used in the laboratory as a solvent that can be conveniently evaporated. Also because of its nonpolarity and lack of functionality, its dissolving power is poor, thus only non-polar or alkyl-rich compounds are soluble in it. Pentane is completely miscible, however, with many common solvents such as chlorocarbons, aromatics, ethers, but not short chain amines or short chain alcohols.
Pentane burns to form carbon dioxide and water:
When oxygen is limited, carbon, partially oxidized carbon (soot), and carbon monoxide are also formed.
Such reactions are unselective, yielding a mixture of the 1-, 2-, and 3-chloropentanes, as well as more highly chlorinated derivatives. Other radical halogenations can also occur.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pentane". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|