The organic compounds known as alkanes are used primarily as fuels, but their derivatives can be found in paints, plastics, cosmetics, cleaners and pharmaceuticals. The simplest alkanes are propane, methane, butane and ethane. These are all highly combustible and form carbon dioxide and water as they burn, which makes them useful as clean fuels.
Alkanes are hydrocarbons and consist only of carbon and hydrogen. The number of carbon atoms within an alkane determines its use. Propane, butane and methane, for example, are cooking and heating fuels, and are also used to generate electricity in some countries. Butane is used in disposable cigarette lighters. Under relatively low pressure, butane and propane can be liquified, and are then known as LPG, or liquid petroleum gas. These two alkanes are also used in aerosol sprays as propellants. Some alkanes with a higher number of atoms form the greater part of aviation and diesel fuel. These alkanes, however, possess higher melting points, which can cause the fuels to become too thick to use in cold climates such as the polar regions. Kerosene and gasoline are made from combinations of alkanes.
Larger alkanes work well as lubricating oils. Their hydrophobic nature prevents water from reaching the surface of metal parts, and they also have anti-corrosive properties. Polypropylene and polyethylene, synthetic polymers with numerous applications, are alkanes containing extremely long chains of carbon atoms.Learn More
Significant quantities of acetic acid are found in paints, adhesives and solvents. Common household vinegar is diluted acetic acid. Medical uses of diluted acetic acid formulas include bladder irrigation, wound irrigation and the treatment of ear infections. Pure acetic acid, known as glacial acetic acid, is widely available. It is used as a solvent, chemical reagent, fungicide and herbicide.Full Answer >
Alkanes are a class of organic chemicals that all have single bonds between carbon atoms, alkenes are organic compounds with at least one double bond between a pair of carbon atoms and alkynes feature at least one triple bond among carbon atoms. Uses for these types of compounds include gasoline, fuel, cleaners, food additives, plastic production and fuel for welding torches.Full Answer >
The primary use of phosphoric acid is in the manufacture of fertilizers, although it is also used to make synthetic detergents. Other uses of phosphoric acid include the treatment of water and metal, and it is also sometimes used as an additive in some foods and drinks.Full Answer >
Manufacturers apply the term lime powder to three different chemical compounds that are related and have similar uses, including application to acid soil to improve plant growth. Acid soil prevents the growth of lawn grass, but adding lime to raise the pH of the soil improves the health of the grass. According to SFGate, ground limestone, calcium carbonate is the most common type of lime for this type of use.Full Answer >