Hexane is mainly used in oil extraction. Several household or daily utensils such as cleaning sprays, stain removers, paints for arts and crafts, contact cement, etc. contain this element. However, using this liquid needs tight safety measures as there’s always the risk of a fire outbreak!
So, Is hexane flammable?
Yes, hexane is a liquid that is highly flammable. This liquid is really risky to work with unless you take enough safety measures. It is very tough to stop the fire from this liquid without proper dry chemicals.
Now, here is the answer you are looking for. But you need to keep on reading to know more about it in detail with many more insights we got here.
So, read along till the last of our article!
Why Is Hexane More Flammable?
Hexane is a very highly flammable liquid in nature. As a result, we can not use it anywhere without taking the necessary safety measures.
Now, you may wonder why is hexane very flammable.
Well, hexane is very flammable due to its chemical properties. This liquid is a saturated hydrocarbon organic bond. To be precise, it contains hydrogen and carbon together with the greatest possible number of hydrogen in a single bond.
Due to this atomic bond, the liquid gets to be highly reactive with oxygen molecules.
So, when a compound is likely to react highly with oxygen molecules, it is more prone to catch fire easily. Thus, the compound has much flammability in nature.
This is why hexane is a highly flammable liquid that can catch fire at any time without warning!
What Fire Protection for Hexane Do You Need?
As you know, hexane is highly flammable, and you need to be precautious and ready all the time when you are using this liquid. A very common mistake people make about it is to consider wet or water sprays for this.
But note that you can not use any type of water spray for hexane at any cost. These water sprays would actually trigger the flammability of hexane even more.
Now you may wonder, what protection to use for hexane then? Well, we have got here the safety measures below that you should consider. Take a look.
- If you are containing or storing hexane for using it after a few minutes, make sure you seal it tightly.
- You must ensure there is not a single source of heat around the liquid hexane.
- Keep fire extinguishers with you all the time you are about to use hexane.
- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher that contains carbon dioxide.
- You can also keep dry chemicals to use as a fire extinguisher for hexane.
- When you are working with hexane, make sure you wear safety gloves, goggles, and a mask. You need to ensure good PPE for this.
- Try to keep as less oxygen as you can in the space where you are using or keeping hexane. If you can, do the experiment or necessary work with it in a small and closed room.
- Do not ever smoke, drink or eat anywhere around or close to hexane.
So, these are the safety measures to take for using hexane.
How Do You Extinguish a Hexane Fire?
Extinguishing fire is not as simple as it sounds, especially when it is something like hexane. So, you need to be careful when trying to get off a hexane fire.
Now, here we have a complete guide to how to do it properly.
Step 1: Shut off the Ignition Sources
The first thing you need to do is look out for any possible ignition sources. You have to shut down all the sources of ignition right away.
Isolate the power and try to stop the discharge of hexane too. You may use protective clothing to stop the discharge of hexane immediately.
Step 2: Flood With Water Supply
Now, you need enough water to flood the space. This means you need to get a water source from where you can supply water in large amounts.
Note: You must not spray water into the hexane as it can trigger flammability. Instead, try increasing the force and pressure of water flow when using it.
While doing this, if you can, close the outer boundary so that water can keep inside the region.
Step 3: Use a Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
If you can stop the fire or even lower the rate of it with water, you are doing fine! But after some time, you’ll require the help of a fire extinguisher.
A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher will do the trick for you. Plus, you can use foam or dry chemicals to take off the hexane fire. If you still think the environment is not yet in your control, you need to seek help immediately.
Contact your local firefighters to get help in no time! So, this is how you can extinguish a hexane fire properly.
Is Hexane More Flammable Than Gasoline?
Well, no! Although hexane is very flammable, it is not as flammable as gasoline. We use gasoline in our daily use in general. But only some of us know about its actual flammability.
Basically, gasoline is way more flammable than hexane. Now, to understand the flammability rate of these two substances, you need to look at their flash point.
The flash point of hexane is about -22.2 degrees Celsius which is quite low. However, gasoline has a flash point of just about –45 degrees Celsius, even lower than hexane.
Now, talking about the flash point, the lower the flash point, the more flammable the substance is. This means the substance with a lower flash point needs a lesser temperature to catch fire.
So, we can say that hexane is less flammable than gasoline.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens when hexane is burnt in the air?
If you burn hexane in the air, there will be no noticeable adverse effects at the moment. However, it will give off carbon dioxide and water particles to the environment. Note that burning hexane in any random place is not considered to be safe as it gives off CO2.
2. Does hexane burn with an explosion?
Hexane is highly flammable in nature. So, this can be really risky to work with without a controlled environment and conditions. Hexane can be explosive if burnt in air or vapor mixtures and can lead to fatal accidents in no time.
3. Is it safe to heat hexane?
No, it is not safe to heat hexane at all. This liquid is highly flammable in any condition or environment when it comes in contact with any heat source. You even have to be very careful and keep hexane away from hot surfaces or open flames.
The Final Words
Now you have the answer to is hexane flammable or not! You must not have any more confusion regarding its flammability and precautions now.
Remember one thing all the time. If you are using any liquid chemical for the first time, identify if it is combustible or flammable. Note that flammable liquids are quite risky to work with and need tight precautions!