Heptane is an organic, non-polar hydrocarbon solvent utilized in many industrial, commercial, and laboratory applications. Most commonly, it is an essential reagent in almost every laboratory, as it is used for its non-polar qualities and for many organic synthesis reactions. This popular compound is derived from petroleum, and is also known for being the standard for octane ratings, such as the ones listed on gas pumps. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at common uses for this solvent and what heptane isomers are.
Common Uses of Heptane
Listed below are only some of the most common uses of this non-polar solvent:
- Production of cement, anesthetics, and compounders
- Used as an industrial cleaner, due to its aggressive degreasing properties
- Used in oil extraction from vegetables
- Manufacturing of various inks, such as stamp and printer inks
- Gasoline additive
- Used in paints and coatings
Isomers are compounds with identical chemical formulas but different atom arrangements. Having a different arrangement can result in different physical or chemical properties. In total, there are nine isomers of heptane:
Why are Heptane Isomers Important?
Certain isomers may be desired for specific purposes due to their unique qualities, but all isomers can be used as industrial solvents and in various inks and adhesives. For example, as mentioned before, n-heptane is the standard in octane ratings, while triptane is used as an aviation fuel additive.
On the commercial level, this compound is typically sold as a mix of isomers, as opposed to just pure n-heptane. This is also the case for oil extraction processes that involve heptane, as using different isomers at once can maximize the solvent benefits of each isomer.
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