noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A volatile liquid hydrocarbon of the alkane series, present in petroleum spirit.
- Like pentane, paraffins are alkanes - hydrocarbon molecules that have as many hydrogen atoms as the molecule's carbon backbone can accommodate.
- Acetone-free polish removers contain safer fruit-derived solvents like ethyl acetate and methyl pentane.
- Extra chemical agents are usually added to the solution: detergents such as octyl thioglucoside, octyl glucoside, octyl glucopyranoside, organic solvents such as pentane, hexane, or other chemicals such as glucose or glycerol.
Late 19th century: from Greek pente 'five' (denoting five carbon atoms) + a shortened form of alkane.
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