Ethane is a hydrocarbon that is made up of more than one carbon atom. Ethane exists in natural gas liquid form and the process of obtaining it involves the separation of the liquid gas from the natural gas. In industrial production, ethane is a key component because it applies its use in fields such as welding, plastic industries, and petrochemical industries. In this article, I am going to explain 25 uses of ethane featuring the different states that the hydrocarbon exists.
1. Production of ethylene
Ethane is subjected as feedstock to steam heat with temperature ranges of 750-950 degrees Celsius. This process cracks the hydrocarbon to smaller hydrocarbon called ethylene.
2. Fuel source
Ethane is clean and is being and can be turned to liquid form at higher temperatures. Therefore it saves the environment and most important is that ethane is the future of fuel as shown in studies.
3. Power production
Ethane is used in power production where power is a problem. It is easier to liquefy, transport then gasify. This nature of ethane helps reduce transport costs.
4. Automotive antifreeze
When mixed with water ethane lowers the freezing point of water. Therefore it is used in automotive cooling systems to prevent the freezing of water in the system.
5. in hydraulic fluids
Ethylene a product of ethane is a major ingredient in hydraulic fluids. Hydraulic fluids are used in-car systems and other motorized locomotives.
6. Manufacture of plastic bottles
Ethane is used in the production of ethylene glycol which is made from ethylene, a product of ethane. Plastic bottles for sodas and fluid holding plastic bottles are made using this product. Therefore ethane is a key product that is taken through different reactions and processes to come up with the chemical.
7. In polyester and fiber manufacture
Polyester is made of a chemical named ethane-1-2-diol which is made using ethane. The different processes that ethane undergoes yields this important chemical that is applied in the manufacture of polyester.
8. Dehydrating agent
Ethane is the manufacturing component used to make other chemicals such as ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is used to remove vapor from the natural gas in industries before further processing is done.
9. as a desiccant
Ethane products are used to prevent the absorption of water especially in pipes that convey gas to remote areas. Therefore the dehydration process is inhibited and the gas remains clean.
10. as a refrigerant
Ethane is used in cooling systems and refrigerators as a medium. It aids in the cooling of products in a refrigerator. Together with other chemical mixtures, the gas is used to enable the refrigerator system to work in the cooling of products.
11. Ripening agent
Fruits contain ethylene, a product of ethane that helps the fruits to ripen. Higher levels of ethylene from natural or artificial means help the fruits to ripen. The ripening also comes with the color change brought about by ethylene.
Ethane and oxygen can be burned to produce the high-temperature flame that is used for burning and welding. Oxygen aids incomplete combustion of the gas.
13. Making of mustard gas
Ethylene is a key component used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. It is combined with other chemicals to form a highly dangerous gas that when inhaled or taken to the body, destroys the RNA. ethylene production is by use of ethane.
14. Food packaging and preservation
Foods are packaged and preserved using a component obtained from ethane, ethylene. This ethylene helps to prevent the packaged food from contamination.
15. Plastic coating
Ethane is also a component in the manufacture of the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that is highly used in the making of insulation materials, plumbing pipes, and kettle insulations
Ethane is a key component in the manufacturer of cleaning agents. These agents help keep the floors sterile and free from disease-causing organisms. Ethane is responsible for sterility and most detergents containing the ethane are used in places like hospitals.
17. Manufacture of capacitors
Capacitors store electric charges for a while in circuits so as to ensure continuity of the current flow. These capacitors make use of polyester which is made using ethane. At times the ethane-1-2-diol is used in some capacitors.
18. Manufacture of ethanol
Ethane is a key component in the manufacture of ethanol. Ethanol finds uses in the preservation of specimens, manufacture of perfumes and varnishes, and in the fuel industry.
19. Manufacture of polymers
Ethane is converted to ethene a key product in the manufacture of a polymer such as polyethylene, ethylbenzene, and ethylbenzene which form part of the important chemicals in the production sectors.
20. Manufacture of vinyl chloride
It has been revealed that s shortcut involving oxidative chlorination of ethane leads to the production of vinyl chloride used in batteries and car equipment. Therefore this has been regarded as the new shortcut.
21. Production of acetic acid
Oxidation of ethane has been used to generate the highly important acetic acid that is used in other production plants.
22. in laboratories
As chemical ethane is stored in laboratories for the purpose of experimentation and carrying out tests. The ever ongoing research around different components involves the use of ethane.
23. Production of styrene
Ethane is first converted to ethene which is then taken through processes that convert it to polystyrene. The polystyrene is then converted to rubber.
24. Manufacture of chloroethane
Chlorination of ethylene, a product of ethane gives out chloroethane which is used as a binder in paints and cosmetics.
25. Gasoline additive
Chloroethane is used in the manufacture of tetraethyllead (TEL). tetraethyllead (TEL) acts as an additive in gasoline.
Ethane as a natural gas obtained from the natural setting forms the major component of most chemicals in today’s’ industries. These chemicals find extensive use information about other chemicals too. The chain of how the ethane can be used goes all the way down to the other chemicals formed by use of it. It, therefore, finds use in cooling systems, refrigerants, fruit ripening, laboratory use, preservative, and even the fuel industry. It is an upcoming fuel under more extensive research and it has already found use in some countries.