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Hexane vs. Cyclohexane: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 10, 2024
Hexane is a straight-chain alkane with six carbon atoms. Cyclohexane is a cyclic alkane with a ring structure of six carbon atoms.
Hexane vs. Cyclohexane

Key Differences

Hexane is a linear hydrocarbon with the formula C6H14, characterized by its straight-chain structure. Cyclohexane, also with the formula C6H14, differs by having a cyclic, ring-like structure.
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In hexane, the carbon atoms are connected in a straight line, allowing for more flexibility in its molecular structure. Cyclohexane’s ring structure restricts its flexibility, giving it unique chemical properties.
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Hexane is often used as a non-polar solvent in laboratories and industries. Cyclohexane, with its ring structure, is used in the synthesis of nylon and other industrial processes.
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Hexane exhibits different chemical reactivity compared to cyclohexane due to its linear structure. Cyclohexane's reactivity is influenced by the tensions in its ring structure.
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Hexane has lower boiling and melting points than cyclohexane, reflecting the difference in their molecular structures and intermolecular forces.
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Comparison Chart

Molecular Structure

Linear chain
Cyclic ring
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Chemical Formula

C6H14
C6H14
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Flexibility

More flexible
Less flexible due to ring tension
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Common Uses

Solvent, cleaning agent
Nylon synthesis, solvent
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Boiling/Melting Points

Lower
Higher
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Hexane and Cyclohexane Definitions

Hexane

A hydrocarbon with a straight-chain structure.
Hexane is commonly used to extract cooking oils from seeds.
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Cyclohexane

A component in the manufacture of industrial products.
Cyclohexane is transformed into adipic acid for nylon synthesis.
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Hexane

A linear alkane with six carbon atoms.
The molecular formula of hexane is C6H14.
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Cyclohexane

Used in chemical synthesis processes.
Cyclohexane is a starting material for many organic syntheses.
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Hexane

A volatile organic compound.
Hexane evaporates quickly at room temperature.
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Cyclohexane

A cyclic alkane with six carbon atoms.
Cyclohexane is a key intermediate in nylon production.
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Hexane

A non-polar solvent.
Hexane is used in laboratories to dissolve oil-based substances.
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Cyclohexane

A non-polar solvent with a ring structure.
Cyclohexane is used to dissolve certain plastics.
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Hexane

A component of gasoline.
Hexane contributes to the volatility of gasoline.
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Cyclohexane

A ring-shaped hydrocarbon.
Cyclohexane's ring structure influences its chemical reactions.
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Hexane

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.
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Cyclohexane

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.
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Hexane

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

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

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.
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Hexane

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

Are hexane and cyclohexane isomers?

Yes, they have the same molecular formula but different structures.
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What is hexane?

A straight-chain alkane with six carbon atoms.
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What is the impact of hexane's structure on its properties?

Its linear structure makes it more flexible and volatile.
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What is cyclohexane?

A six-carbon cyclic alkane.
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What is cyclohexane mainly used for?

In nylon production and as a solvent.
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How do the boiling points of hexane and cyclohexane compare?

Cyclohexane has a higher boiling point.
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What are the primary uses of hexane?

As a solvent and in gasoline.
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How does cyclohexane’s ring structure affect its reactivity?

The ring structure introduces ring strain, affecting its chemical reactions.
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Are hexane and cyclohexane flammable?

Both are flammable, with hexane being more volatile.
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Can hexane and cyclohexane mix with oils and fats?

Yes, both dissolve non-polar substances like oils and fats.
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Is cyclohexane soluble in water?

Like hexane, it is also insoluble in water.
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Why is cyclohexane used in industrial processes?

Its chemical properties make it suitable for complex syntheses.
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Can hexane dissolve in water?

No, hexane is non-polar and insoluble in water.
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How do the densities of hexane and cyclohexane compare?

They have similar densities, but cyclohexane is slightly denser.
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What are the environmental impacts of hexane?

Hexane can contribute to air pollution and is a neurotoxin.
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Is cyclohexane safer than hexane?

Both have health and environmental risks; safety depends on handling.
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What role does cyclohexane play in plastic production?

It's a precursor for compounds used in plastics like nylon.
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How are hexane and cyclohexane produced?

They are derived from petroleum refining processes.
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Is hexane more volatile than cyclohexane?

Yes, due to its linear structure.
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Can hexane be used in pharmaceuticals?

It's used in some extraction processes but not in the final products.
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Jan 10, 2024

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Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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