Definition - What does Isobutane mean?

Isobutane is a chemical compound which is an isomer of butane with the molecular formula C4H10. It is the simplest alkane having tertiary carbon. The concerns with the ozone layer depletion by the freon gases have resulted in their increased use in refrigeration systems, specifically in the domestic freezers and refrigerators and also as propellants in aerosol sprays. In petrochemical industries, it is used as feedstock, for instance in synthesis of isooctane. It is also being used as a part of blended fuels, commonly in fuel canisters that are used for camping.

Petropedia explains Isobutane

Isobutane is a colorless gas with petroleum-like smell. It can be shipped under its vapor pressure as liquefied gas. It is stable but extremely flammable and forms explosive blends with air. The production and use of Isobutane as a mixing agent, refrigerant, fuel, organic synthesis reagent and aerosol propellant can lead to its release into the environment via numerous waste streams. It is a natural gas component which can be released in wastewater or as evaporative emission from the storage, distribution and manufacture of gasoline.

It is toxic and can be easily absorbed in the body by inhalation, contact with the skin or eyes which causes drowsiness and affects the central nervous system. It is advisable to have good ventilation and safety glasses at the work area where Isobutane is used. Also, it should not be used in areas near flames or hot surfaces.

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