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Butane vs. Butene: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 16, 2023
Butane is a saturated hydrocarbon with four carbon atoms and no double bonds, while butene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon with a double bond.

Key Differences

Butane is a hydrocarbon with the formula C4H10, consisting of four carbon atoms linked in a chain without any double bonds, making it a saturated molecule. Butene, on the other hand, is an unsaturated hydrocarbon with at least one double bond between carbon atoms, with the general formula C4H8.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
Butane is commonly used as a fuel in lighters and as a propellant in aerosol sprays. It exists in two isomers: n-butane and isobutane. In contrast, butene, also known as butylene, is often used in the production of polymers and is important in the petrochemical industry. It also has different isomers, including 1-butene and 2-butene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
In butane, the absence of double bonds results in a more flexible structure for various applications in fuel and heating. Butene’s double bond contributes to its reactivity, making it suitable for chemical synthesis and the production of plastics.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
Butane is relatively less reactive compared to butene due to its saturated nature, leading to different chemical and physical properties. Butene's unsaturated nature, with one or more double bonds, makes it more reactive and a valuable intermediate in industrial processes.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
The energy content of butane is significant, making it a useful source of heat and energy, whereas butene, due to its chemical structure, is more commonly used as a monomer in polymerization reactions, like in the production of polybutene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

C4H10
C4H8
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Bonding

Saturated (no double bonds)
Unsaturated (at least one double bond)
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Common Uses

Fuel, lighter fluid, refrigerant
Polymer production, chemical synthesis
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Reactivity

Less reactive due to saturation
More reactive due to double bonds
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Industrial Role

Energy source and propellant
Intermediate in plastic and polymer production
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023
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Butane and Butene Definitions

Butane

A colorless gas that is easily liquefied, used in lighter refills.
She refilled her lighter with butane.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

An unsaturated hydrocarbon derived from petroleum, used in fuel and chemical synthesis.
Butene is integral in producing various polymers.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

A flammable hydrocarbon gas that is a constituent of petroleum and is used as a fuel.
Butane is often used in portable camping stoves.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

An alkene with a reactive double bond, used in organic chemistry.
Butene's double bond makes it valuable for many chemical reactions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

A gaseous alkane used in organic synthesis and as a refrigerant.
Butane is also used in the refrigeration systems of some appliances.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

A colorless gas that is part of the petrochemical industry.
In the petrochemical plant, butene is a common feedstock.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

A gas obtained from petroleum, used for heating, cooking, and as a fuel.
The cabin used a butane heater during the winter.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

A hydrocarbon used as a starting material in making synthetic rubber.
Butene is utilized in the synthesis of certain types of synthetic rubber.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

A hydrocarbon gas that is a component of natural gas and is used as a solvent.
Butane is used in the extraction process of some oils.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

A gas that is used as a monomer in the plastics industry.
Butene is a key ingredient in the production of plastic bags.
Huma Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

Either of two isomers of a gaseous hydrocarbon, C4H10, produced synthetically from petroleum and used as a household fuel, refrigerant, and aerosol propellant and in the manufacture of synthetic rubber.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

Any of three gaseous isomeric ethylene hydrocarbons, C4H8, used principally in making synthetic rubbers. Also called butylene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

(organic compound) A hydrocarbon (either of the two isomers of C4H10 n-butane, and 2-methyl-propane) found in gaseous petroleum fractions.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

(chemistry) Any of several forms of butylene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

The n-butane isomer only.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

Any of three isomeric singly unsaturated hydrocarbons C4H8; all are used in making synthetic rubbers; - called also butylene.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

An inflammable gaseous saturated hydrocarbon, C4H10, of the marsh gas, or paraffin, series.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butene

Any of three isomeric hydrocarbons C4H8; all used in making synthetic rubbers
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Butane

Occurs in natural gas; used in the manufacture of rubber and fuels
Sumera Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

FAQs

What is the primary use of butane?

Butane is primarily used as a fuel, in lighters, and as a propellant in aerosols.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Can butane be used in refrigeration?

Yes, butane is used as a refrigerant in some refrigeration systems.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Is butane toxic?

Butane can be toxic when inhaled in large amounts; it should be used in well-ventilated areas.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Is butane a natural gas?

Butane is a component of natural gas, obtained from petroleum.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

How is butane stored?

Butane is typically stored in liquid form under pressure in metal containers.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Can butene be found in nature?

Butene is not typically found in nature but is produced through the refining of petroleum.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

What makes butene reactive?

The double bond in butene's molecular structure makes it more reactive.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

What is butene commonly used for?

Butene is commonly used in the production of polymers and plastics.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Are butane and butene isomers?

Butane and butene are not isomers; they have different chemical formulas and structures.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Is butene a solid, liquid, or gas?

Butene is a gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Is butene used in fuel?

Butene can be used as a component in gasoline to increase its octane rating.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Can butane be converted into butene?

Yes, butane can be converted into butene through processes like cracking.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

How does temperature affect butane and butene?

Both gases are affected by temperature changes, impacting their state and pressure.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Is butene heavier than air?

Butene is slightly lighter than air.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Is butene environmentally friendly?

Butene's impact on the environment depends on its usage and disposal; it can contribute to air pollution if not managed properly.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Is butane safer to use than butene?

Both gases need careful handling, but butane is less reactive than butene.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Are butane and butene used in welding?

Butane is used in some portable welding torches, but butene is not typically used in welding.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Can butane be used in barbecues?

Yes, butane is often used as a fuel source for portable barbecues.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Does butene have a distinct smell?

Butene is typically odorless, but odorants may be added for safety purposes.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Can butane cause an explosion?

Butane can be explosive when mixed with air in certain concentrations.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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