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cetane Line breaks: ce¦tane
Pronunciation: /ˈsiːteɪn/

Definition of cetane in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless liquid hydrocarbon of the alkane series, present in petroleum spirit.
  • Chemical formula: C16H34
Example sentences
  • Its density, viscosity, cetane index, combustion point, and several other parameters they looked at compare favorably with those of ethyl esters of sunflower, rape, groundnut, and soybean oils.
  • The secret formula behind the new diesel relies upon an increase in cetane; the equivalent of octane used in petrol.
  • The composition may optionally also contain pour point depressants, cetane improvers, carbon-containing compounds which react with water, and/or emulsifiers.


Late 19th century: from Latin cetus 'whale', from Greek kētos (because related compounds were first derived from spermaceti) + -ane2.

Definition of cetane in:
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