The key difference between N-butane and Cyclobutane is that n-butane is an aliphatic substance, whereas cyclobutane is a cyclic compound.
Butane is an organic compound having four carbon atoms, and it is an alkane compound because it has only single covalent chemical bonds (there are no double or triple bonds). These four carbon atoms can get different arrangements forming different compounds such as aliphatic compounds, cyclic compounds, and branched compounds. N-butane and cyclobutane are two of these compounds.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is N-Butane
3. What is Cyclobutane
4. Side by Side Comparison – N-butane vs Cyclobutane in Tabular Form
What is N-Butane?
N-butane is an alkane having the chemical formula C4H10. It occurs as a gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions. Moreover, butane is a highly flammable gas, and it is colorless and has a gasoline-like odor. N-butane is an aliphatic compound; meaning, it has a non-cyclic structure. Butane gas is easily liquefied and quickly vaporizes at room temperature; thus, we can use it as a fuel.
Moreover, n-butane can occur in two forms as unbranched n-butane and branched n-butane or isobutene. In the unbranched structure, the molecule has no branches, but in the branched structure, there is a methyl branch attached to a three-carbon linear structure. These two are named as structural isomers or conformations of butane.
Furthermore, burning butane gas produces carbon dioxide and water vapor if there is enough oxygen gas present in the gas mixture. If the oxygen level is low, then the combustion of butane produces carbon soot or carbon monoxide along with water vapor.
Concerning the uses, there are different uses of butane gas such as using it for gasoline blending process, as a fragrant extraction solvent, as a feedstock for the manufacture of ethylene and butadiene, as a key ingredient for synthetic rubber production, etc.
What is Cyclobutane?
Cyclobutane is an alkane having the chemical formula C4H8. It is a cyclic structure which occurs as a colorless gas, and it is commercially available as a liquefied gas. The structure is as follows:
When considering the structure of cyclobutane, the bond angles between carbon atoms are significantly strained, and therefore these bonds have low bond energies than the corresponding linear or unstrained hydrocarbons. Moreover, cyclobutane is unstable at high temperatures. The structure of this compound is not planar; it has a “puckered” conformation. In this conformation, the molecule can reduce some of the eclipsing interactions.
Furthermore, there are different methods for the preparation of cyclobutane, including the conversion of 1,4-dihalobutnae into cyclobutane upon the dehalogenation with reducing metals. Also, alkenes can undergo dimerization upon the irradiation with UV light to produce cyclobutane.
What is the Difference Between N-butane and Cyclobutane?
Butane is an organic compound having the chemical formula C4H10. N-butane and cyclobutane are two butane compounds with different structures. The key difference between n-butane and cyclobutane is that n-butane is an aliphatic substance, whereas cyclobutane is a cyclic compound. Moreover, we can prepare n-butane through refining natural gas while cyclopentane is produced by the conversion of 1,4-dihalobutnae into cyclobutane upon the dehalogenation with reducing metals.
Below infographic lists more differences between n-butane and cyclobutane.
N-butane is an alkane having the chemical formula C4H10. Cyclobutane is an alkane having the chemical formula C4H8. There can be different arrangements of four carbon atoms in the butane molecule. The key difference between n-butane and cyclobutane is that n-butane is an aliphatic substance, whereas cyclobutane is a cyclic compound.
1. “Cyclopentane” PubChem, National Library of Medicine, Available here.
1. “Structure of Butane” By NEUROtiker ⇌ – Own work, Public Domain, via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Cyclobutane” By Dbc334, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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