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Hexane vs. Cyclohexane: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 27, 2023
Hexane is a straight-chain alkane with six carbon atoms (C6H14), while cyclohexane is a cyclic alkane composed of a ring of six carbon atoms (C6H12).

Key Differences

Hexane is a linear alkane with a continuous chain of six carbon atoms. Cyclohexane, in contrast, has its six carbon atoms arranged in a ring structure.
Both hexane and cyclohexane have carbon and hydrogen, but their formulas differ. Hexane has the chemical formula C6H14, indicating that it has 14 hydrogen atoms. Cyclohexane's formula is C6H12, with 12 hydrogen atoms.
Hexane is a colorless liquid at room temperature with a slightly disagreeable odor. Cyclohexane also is a colorless liquid but differs slightly in boiling and melting points due to its cyclic structure.
Hexane is widely used as a solvent in the extraction of edible oils from seeds, whereas cyclohexane is primarily used as a solvent in chemical synthesis and as a raw material in the manufacture of nylon.
In chemical reactions, hexane's linear structure makes it less reactive compared to cyclohexane, which, due to its cyclic structure, participates in reactions typical of cyclic compounds, like ring-opening reactions.

Comparison Chart

Structural Formula

Linear chain of C atoms
Ring structure of C atoms

Chemical Formula


Boiling Point

Around 69°C
Around 81°C


Less reactive (linear structure)
More reactive (cyclic structure)

Primary Use

Solvent in oil extraction
Solvent, nylon production

Hexane and Cyclohexane Definitions


Hexane is a hydrocarbon with six carbon atoms.
Hexane is often used in laboratories as a non-polar solvent.


Cyclohexane is used in the production of nylon.
The manufacture of nylon involves the conversion of cyclohexane.


Hexane is a component of gasoline.
Gasoline contains hexane which contributes to its high energy content.


Cyclohexane is a cyclic alkane with a ring of six carbon atoms.
Cyclohexane is used as a solvent in many organic syntheses.


Hexane is used in food industry for oil extraction.
Hexane efficiently extracts oil from soybeans and other seeds.


Cyclohexane has a distinct geometric ring structure.
The ring structure of cyclohexane is a subject of study in organic chemistry.


Hexane is a volatile, colorless liquid.
The hexane evaporated quickly when left uncovered.


Cyclohexane is a colorless and flammable liquid.
Cyclohexane must be handled with care due to its flammable nature.


Hexane is a member of the alkane series.
As an alkane, hexane reacts with halogens under suitable conditions.


Cyclohexane is less dense than water.
Cyclohexane floats on water due to its lower density.


Any of several isomeric colorless flammable liquid hydrocarbons, C6H14, derived from the fractional distillation of petroleum and used as a solvent and as a working fluid in low-temperature thermometers.


A flammable, colorless, mobile liquid cycloalkane, C6H12, obtained from petroleum and benzene and used in the manufacture of nylon and as a solvent, a paint remover, and a varnish remover.


(organic compound) Any of five isomeric aliphatic hydrocarbons, C6H14. They are colorless, volatile liquids.


(organic compound) An alicyclic hydrocarbon, C6H12, consisting of a ring of six carbon atoms; a volatile liquid.


Any one of five hydrocarbons, C6H14, of the paraffin series. They are colorless, volatile liquids, and are so called because the molecule has six carbon atoms.


A colorless flammable liquid alkane derived from petroleum and used as a solvent


What is cyclohexane?

Cyclohexane is a cyclic alkane with six carbon atoms.

Are hexane and cyclohexane isomers?

No, they are not isomers; they have different chemical formulas.

Is cyclohexane flammable?

Yes, cyclohexane is highly flammable.

What is hexane?

Hexane is a hydrocarbon with a six-carbon chain.

Can hexane dissolve in water?

No, hexane is non-polar and does not dissolve in water.

What are the uses of cyclohexane?

Cyclohexane is used in chemical synthesis and nylon production.

Is hexane toxic?

Yes, hexane can be toxic and should be handled with care.

How is hexane produced?

Hexane is obtained from the distillation of petroleum.

What are the uses of hexane?

Hexane is used as a solvent in industries and laboratories.

Is cyclohexane more reactive than hexane?

Yes, due to its cyclic structure, cyclohexane is more reactive.

How is cyclohexane produced?

Cyclohexane is produced from benzene through hydrogenation.

Does cyclohexane have a straight-chain structure?

No, cyclohexane has a cyclic ring structure.

What is the boiling point of hexane?

The boiling point of hexane is around 69°C.

Can hexane be used in food production?

Yes, hexane is used in extracting oils from seeds in food production.

Is cyclohexane soluble in water?

No, cyclohexane is not soluble in water.

Does hexane have a ring structure?

No, hexane has a linear chain structure.

What is the boiling point of cyclohexane?

The boiling point of cyclohexane is around 81°C.

Are hexane and cyclohexane environmentally friendly?

Both can have environmental impacts and should be used responsibly.

What are the physical properties of hexane?

Hexane is a colorless, volatile liquid with a slight odor.

What are the physical properties of cyclohexane?

Cyclohexane is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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