n - Butane
C4H10

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General Characteristics Health Hazards Material Recommendations
A colorless, flammable, liquefied gas with faint odor. Relatively non toxic anesthetic in high concentrations. Normal materials can be used. Avoid plastic and rubber for liquids.
TLV-TWA Flammable Limits DOT Class / Label
800 ppm 1.8 - 8.5% 2.1/ Flammable Gas
Molecular Weight Specific Gravity Specific Volume
58.1 2.110 @ 70 F 6.4 cu.ft./lb @ 70 F
CGA Valve Outlet CAS Registry No. UN Number
510 106-97-8 1011
National Stock Number (NSN) Applicable to n -Butane MIL Specs/ Fed Specs
MSDS for n - Butane


Grade
Part #
Purity Minimum Cylinder
Size
Volume
LBS
Pressure
@ 70 F
Comments
Research
467000
99.6% Min.
Liquid phase
002

0.875

16.3

None

Chemically Pure
401600
99.0% Min.
Liquid phase
454
110
016
LBS
540
120
16
0.375
16.3
16.3
16.3
16.3

Uses: Butane in its pure form is used cor calibration work in instruments such as pressure and temperature gauges and for filling thermobulbs for such instruments. It is industrially important as an intermediate in the manufacture of aviation fuel and in the manufacture of many organic chemicals. It is also used as a heating fuel and special motor fuel. Either of two colourless, odourless, gaseous hydrocarbons (compounds of carbon and hydrogen), members of the series of paraffinic hydrocarbons. Their chemical formula is C4H10. The compound in which the carbon atoms are linked in a straight chain is denoted normal butane, or n-butane; the
branched-chain form is isobutane. Both compounds occur in natural gas and in crude oil and are formed in large quantities in the refining of petroleum to produce gasoline.

The butanes present in natural gas can be separated from the large quantities of lower-boiling gaseous constituents, such as methane and ethane, by absorption in a light oil. The butanes thus obtained can be stripped from the absorbent along with propane and marketed as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or they can be separated from the propane and then from each other by fractional distillation: n-butane boils at -0.5° C (31.1° F); isobutane boils at -11.7° C (10.9° F). Butanes formed by catalytic cracking and other refinery processes are also recovered by absorption into a light oil.

Commercially, n-butane can be added to gasoline to increase its volatility. Transformed to isobutane in a refinery process known as isomerization, it can be reacted with certain other hydrocarbons such as butylene to form valuable high-octane constituents of gasoline.