What is Normal Hexane and how is it used?


Normal Hexane is a straight chained alkane with the formula C6H14. It is a clear, colourless liquid with an odour of petrol. As a non polar solvent it is largely unreactive and evaporates quickly. It is immiscible with water but miscible with most organic solvents. Hexane is a minor constituent of crude oil and natural gas and is commercially produced from crude oil refining. n-Hexane can also be synthesized from sugar cane wastes using special catalysts. It is used as a solvent to extract edible oils from seed and vegetable crops, as a cleaning agent and as a solvent for glues, paints and inks.


  • Synonyms: Hexane; hexyl hydride; normal hexane; dipropyl;
  • Formula: C6H14
  • CAS No: 110–54–3
  • EINECS: 203–777–6
  • Molar mass: 86.18 g/mol
  • Appearance: Colourless liquid
  • Melting point: –95 oC
  • Boiling point: 65–70 oC

    Hexane structure

  • Flash point: –26 oC
  • Autoignition temperature: 234 oC
  • Solubility in water: 13 mg/L at 20oC
  • Density: 0.6548 g/mL, liquid
  • Viscosity: 0.294 mPa s
  • Vapour pressure: 17.60 kPa (at 20C)
  • Relative vapour density: 3.
  • Refractive index: 1.375
  • Explosive limits: lower 1.1%; upper 7.4%

It is highly flammable, and its vapors can be explosive. It may be ignited by heat, sparks, and flames. Flammable vapour may spread away from a spill. N-hexane can react vigorously with oxidizing materials such as liquid chlorine, concentrated oxygen, and sodium hypochlorite. It will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings. It is insoluble in water and miscible with alcohol, chloroform, and ether. It is incompatible with strong oxidizers.

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  • Manufacture of gluesin including rubber cement.
  • Extraction of cooking oils from seeds.
  • Extraction of protein from soy.
  • Solvent cleaner and degreaser and paint thinners.
  • Used in the preparation of grignard reagents.
  • It has been used in many types of non-mercury thermometers, especially for thermometers used in low temperature ranges.
  • Contained in inks.
  • Used in rotogravure or flexographic technologies
  • Used as a carrier for cedar oil, beeswax, silicone or lanolin dressings.

it is used as a cleaning agents in the textile, furniture, shoemaking, and printing industries, particularly rotogravure printing.

n-hexane is used in chemical laboratories as an extractant for a wide range of hydrocarbons and nonpolar organic compounds and in calibrating instruments for analyses of volatile organic compounds (VOC) or total petroleum hydrocarbons.

It is used in the pharmaceutical industry to help shape pills and tablets, which are then dried to vent off the n-hexane before packaging

Health & safety

Risk phrases: R11 Highly flammable. R38 Irritating to skin. R48/20 Harmful: danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation. R51/53 Toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. R62 Possible risk of impaired fertility. R65 Harmful: may cause lung damage if swallowed. R67 Vapours may cause drowsiness and dizziness.

For full information see MSDS for Hexane


Where to buy n-Hexane online UK


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About mistralhowto

formulation chemist

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