Butane , either of two colourless, odourless, gaseous hydrocarbons compounds of carbon and hydrogen , members of the series of paraffinic hydrocarbons. Their chemical formula is C 4 H 1 0. 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.
Butane is one of the lightest liquid streams typically produced in a refinery. The butane molecule has four carbon atoms and 10 hydrogen atoms. Butane is typically either blended into gasoline or LPG in small volumes or sold directly as a finished product. When blending into gasoline, butane is favored for its high octane but limited by its high vapor pressure. Because of vapor pressure limits, butane blending into gasoline is often completely eliminated in warmer months of the year, resulting in a seasonal glut of butane. As a commercial finished product, butane is used as a home heating fuel, as cigarette lighter fluid, as a refrigerant gas, and as a propellant, but all of these require in fairly small volumes. Butane is also frequently converted into isobutane for use as an alkylation feedstock. It is sometimes used as a refinery fuel , but this is typically its lowest-value end use and avoided where possible. Butane comes from many different process units in the refinery, as well as from outside sources such as natural gas plants from separating NGLs and from steam crackers in the C4 raffinate.
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Closed system, ventilation, explosion-proof electrical equipment and lighting. Prevent build-up of electrostatic charges e. Use non-sparking handtools. Shut off supply; if not possible and no risk to surroundings, let the fire burn itself out. In other cases extinguish with powder, carbon dioxide. In case of fire: keep cylinder cool by spraying with water. Combat fire from a sheltered position. Fresh air, rest. Artificial respiration may be needed.