eth·​ane | \ ˈe-ˌthān How to pronounce ethane (audio) , British usually ˈē-\

Definition of ethane

: a colorless odorless gaseous alkane C2H6 found in natural gas and used as a fuel

Examples of ethane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Its output of liquids, including crude oil and natural-gas byproducts like ethane, was off 2% from a year earlier. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Shell Needs to Produce Energy, Not Just Cash," 1 Nov. 2018 As pipelines continue to get crowded, some drillers are likely to boost production of compounds extracted from gas, such as ethane used to make plastic. Ryan Collins And Naureen S. Malik, Houston Chronicle, "Pipeline shortage means West Texas gas has no place to go," 31 Mar. 2018 And flaring gas on the spot means drillers miss out on more valuable products that come out of the ground with it, such as ethane, propane and butane, which are often processed out later. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "In Booming Oil Field, Natural Gas Can Be Free," 27 Dec. 2018 When calculating its estimates, Parsley includes other valuable hydrocarbons that come out of wells, such as ethane. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast," 2 Jan. 2019 The Pennsylvania chemical complex, which converts ethane extracted from the nearby Marcellus and Utica shales into polyethylene, a component of plastics, is ahead of schedule and within budget, Mr. van Beurden said. Inyoung Hwang, WSJ, "Shell CEO Considers New Natural-Gas Bet," 24 Sep. 2018 The Houston company Permico Midstream Partners' Texas NGL Project includes a natural gas liquids fractionator that can process around 300,000 barrels of liquids a day and separate them into their component parts, such as ethane, propane and butane. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "$550 million Texas natural gas project gets tax abatements from Nueces County," 13 July 2018 Previously, Cassini detected lighter, gassy molecules such as methane and ethane, which contain one or two carbon atoms and a smattering of hydrogens; these molecules weigh in at around 15 atomic mass units. National Geographic, "Right Stuff for Life Found on Small Saturn Moon," 27 June 2018 The Orla facility, which is scheduled to open its first processing units in the spring, is designed to separate and process natural gas and a variety of NGLs, such as ethane and butane. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Enterprise Products expanding NGL facilities in Houston and Permian," 9 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ethane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ethane

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ethane

International Scientific Vocabulary, from ethyl

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Statistics for ethane

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for ethane

The first known use of ethane was in 1866

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More Definitions for ethane


eth·​ane | \ ˈeth-ˌān, British ˈē-ˌthān\

Medical Definition of ethane

: a colorless odorless gaseous alkane C2H6 found in natural gas and used especially as a fuel

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More from Merriam-Webster on ethane

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ethane

Spanish Central: Translation of ethane

Nglish: Translation of ethane for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about ethane

Comments on ethane

What made you want to look up ethane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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