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

The lakes on the icy moon are filled with liquid ethane and methane. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Lakes on Saturn's moon may be explosion craters," 11 Sep. 2019 Natural gas liquids include products like propane, butane and ethane, which is a major petrochemical feedstock. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Targa starts up Grand Prix NGL pipeline from Permian to Houston," 8 Aug. 2019 The probe survived for about 72 minutes on the cold ground, spying rocks of water ice, measuring the atmospheric density and temperature, and detecting organic compounds such as ethane, cyanogen, benzene and large amounts of methane. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian, "Dragonfly Spacecraft to Scour the Sands of Titan for the Chemistry of Life," 6 May 2012 When complete, the facility will employ about 500 workers manufacturing plastic pellets made from ethane, a byproduct of fracking, that can be used in products like food packaging and auto parts. NBC News, "Shell workers would have lost pay if they missed Trump speech at plant," 18 Aug. 2019 The $6 billion plant, located outside of Pittsburg, is scheduled to open in early 2020 and will focus on producing plastic from ethane. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Shell Workers In Pennsylvania Say They Were Told Either Attend A Trump Event Or Not Get Paid," 18 Aug. 2019 So, much of the ethane is stripped out of the gas before the methane is shipped. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "A Giant Factory Rises to Make a Product Filling Up the World: Plastic," 12 Aug. 2019 Fractionators separate natural gas liquids into separate individual products, such as butane, ethane and propane, which can be used to make petrochemicals. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Phillips 66 profits boosted by pipeline, NGLs," 26 July 2019 A decade later, not far from that Pittsburgh G20 Summit, US energy giant Shell is preparing to enter the ethane-cracking market. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Japan’s single-use plastic problem on display at the G20 Summit," 28 June 2019

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

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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