Nonane is a colorless linear alkaline hydrocarbon which is highly flammable. This hydrocarbon is primarily a component of kerosene.
The word Nonane comes from the word non-which means nine and the suffix that defines all hydrocarbons-ane. Although most people today are used to Octagon meaning an eight-sided shape, very few realize that Nonagon means a nine-sided shape.
In full, Nonane is the name for a hydrocarbon with nine carbons and 20 hydrogens. It is also straight-chained hydrogen with the nine carbons connected in one long chain that has no Branches. The 20 Hydrogens are attached to the chain in a way that each carbon makes four bonds to the other atoms.
The fact that this Hydrocarbon is made up of only Carbons and Hydrogen, is the main reason why it’s known as a saturated hydrocarbon. It’s a hydrocarbon where the hydrogens and Carbons are in a single bond.
Some other hydrocarbons that share the same characteristics with Nonane are Propane and Butane. Most people refer to Butane and propane as fuels due to their capability to burn. Nonane, on the other hand, can as well be used as fuel because it can burn with ease.
What are the properties of Nonane?
At room temperatures, this hydrocarbon is a colorless liquid. It also has a gasoline-like odor which means it’s a component in the Gasoline. When it burns, it is likely to produce Carbon Dioxide and water.
When this hydrocarbon is mixed with water, it portrays the same characteristics with those of gasoline or petrol. It doesn’t mix well with water. As a matter of fact, most hydrocarbons including Butane and Propane don’t mix with water. The main reason for this is because most of them are less dense than water and hence it will float on top of it.
In most cases, Nonane is as a result of refining petroleum. It is highly produced in the world with annual production in the range of 1 million to 10 million pounds. This hydrocarbon can as well be produced through the process of hydrogenation.
Although it’s not a very common type of hydrocarbon, it has some similar uses to those of other Hydrocarbons. Due to the fact that it can burn, this hydrocarbon can be used as a fuel. This is actually the reason why it’s commonly used by the US military to fuel their machinery including aircraft and tankers.
This Alkaline has very many uses which we are going to discuss here.
1. Used as an automotive fuel
Nonane is highly used in the automotive field. As a matter of fact, it is a component in automotive fuel especially the JP-8 which is a fuel formulation concocted by the Military in the US. The component was and is still used to power US Airforce and Navy automobiles. It’s also used to power ground vehicles including military tankers, heaters, and stoves. It can as well be used to power ordinary machines and vehicles but is preferably used in powering aircraft and military equipment.
2. Used as a Solvent
Nonane is also highly used as a component in organic solvents. There are several reasons why this component is preferred for organic solvents. One of the reasons is that this component doesn’t mix well with water. This is what makes it a good choice for water-fearing molecules. Though, this is not a very common use because there are several other alternatives available in the market that are preferred to Nonane.
3. It is used in the Mineral spirit
It is also very common to find Nonane as a component in Mineral spirit which is also regarded to as Petroleum spirits, Stoddard solvent or white spirit. This is a commercial product that contains a couple of hydrocarbons including Nonane. Mineral spirit is highly used in oil paints. This means that if you have used this kind of paint to paint and decorate your house and furniture, then you probably used Mineral spirit that contains Nonane. There’s a reason why Nonane is used in mineral spirit. The main reason is that it doesn’t mix well with water which is the reason why the paint repels water when in contact. As a matter of fact, paints containing mineral spirit and Nonane are the most preferred for this reason. They are always used to paint areas of the house or infrastructure that comes into contact with water more often.
4. Reaction Intermediate
Here is another industrial use of Nonane. It can be used in the reaction intermediate. This is a molecular entity that forms after reactants react further to give some products of the chemical reaction. Though, this component reacts stepwise which makes it undergo many steps before the entire process is complete. Also, you have to note that intermediate is not the same as a catalyst. As a matter of fact, a catalyst gets from reactant to a product which is the opposite with intermediate. Intermediate goes from product to reactant. The main reason why this is used as an intermediate is that the component is highly reactive. Today, Nonane is used as a chemical intermediate in many industries in the world. Though, it’s commonly used in the perfume industry, in rose, lily, and peony.
5. Solid separation agent
This component is used in the process of solid separation. This is the process through which a mixture of solids is chemically separated into two or more distinct product mixes. It is among the best solid separates because it doesn’t mix well with water. It is also very reactive which makes it perfect to react with solids separately and eventually separate them. Due to its ability to separate with water, this component is also widely used as a solvent for cleaning and degreasing. In most of the situations, people will wash their hands with it after working with grease. You will also find some others using it to clean grease from items especially in the manufacturing industry. It can as well be used by mechanics to clean their clothes or degrease several items in their work area.
6. Cleaning/washing kitchen items
Due to its ability to decrease and clean, this Hydrocarbon is highly preferred in cleaning greasy and oily kitchen items including plates, cooking pots and other utensils. It can as well be used in cleaning sinks and kitchen surfaces with ease. However, this is not highly recommended because this component may have some health effects. You shouldn’t let it mix directly with foods or items that are used for cooking. Although, it can really help in case you want to ensure the place is clean especially the surface.
For its ability to decrease, it can be used to clean slippery tiles, especially from oil spillages. This means you don’t have to struggle a lot with oily kitchen surfaces and tiles. This is one of the main consumer uses of this component. In some other cases, it can be used to clean oily kitchen clothes and boots. However, you have to note that it has some smell that if not taken care of can spoil the whole experience.
7. It can be used as Fuel for homes
I had already stated that Nonane can be used as rocket and automotive fuel. The main reason for this is because it burns in Oxygen to produce heat. For this reason, it can be a perfect source of fuel for homes. Though, it’s highly flammable and hence can be dangerous to some extent. It can be used in cremation or in Kilns to produce heat.
It can as well be used in electricity generation. This means it can be used in electricity generation generators which make it cost-effective. With so many options, this component can be highly used to increase electricity generation. It can as well be an option for vehicle fuel and for electricity back up because it is regarded as a more environmentally friendly option than diesel and gasoline.
8. Used in the distillation process
Nonane can as well be used in the distillation process. This is the process of separating liquids including crude oil and other liquids. In this process, Nonane can be used to facilitate the process. It’s therefore used as a carrier.
9. It can be used in the preparation of tensides
Tensides or better known as Surfactant are compounds that reduce the tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid. They are either used as detergents, emulsifier, foaming agents or dispersants. In their preparation, Nonane is a key player. It’s used because of its inability to mix well with some liquids including water.
10. As a solvent in Laboratories
Although Heptane is the most commonly used hydrocarbon that is specifically used as a solvent in Laboratories, most people today use Nonane as an alternative.
The above are some of the many uses of Nonane. Just like many Hydrocarbons, this Hydrocarbon has a couple of uses which may be interchangeable with other hydrocarbons. It’s not very common but very few people know they interact with Nonane on daily basis in Fuel and paints.