Alkanes: Did you know?

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Did you know?

Vaseline and petrol both contain alkanes

You have seen people using petrol in cars and you must have used Vaseline1 or some other petroleum jelly. Both of these are derived from crude oil or petroleum and they both contain different forms of alkanes.

Uranus and Neptune have methane

Uranus and Neptune
Uranus and Neptune


Methane is the simplest form of alkane. It is present in the atmospheres of Uranus2 and Neptune3. Methane absorbs at near infrared or visible range of electromagnetic spectrum and emits the complimentary blue color.



Marsh Gas and cooking gas are alkanes

The cooking gas that we use in the kitchen contains alkanes more specifically, propane and butane4 and marsh gas, which burns with a blue flame, is also an alkane (more specifically, methane). Watch this video to see how marsh gas looks like while burning.







Shark liver oil and cockroach pheromone have alkanes

Pristane and Undecane
Pristane and Undecane

A branched alkane called pristane is found in shark liver oil5 and cockroach pheromone have undecane6, a linear alkane.





References for this article
  1. Vaseline []
  2. NASA Planets: Uranus []
  3. NASA Planets: Neptune []
  4. Indane details []
  5. Merck index on Shark liver oil []
  6. Encyclopedia Britannica article []