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 Cassini also found odd-shaped storms in Saturn’s atmosphere, and material like carbon, methane, ethane, and nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Shannon Stirone, Wired, "Space Photos of the Week: Cassini's Curtain Call," 16 May 2020 The plant takes ethane, a natural-gas byproduct, and breaks apart its molecules, which are then used to make plastic. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "Fracking Once Lifted Pennsylvania. Now It Could Be a Drag.," 31 Mar. 2020 The moon is dominated by hydrocarbons like methane and ethane. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Every Moon in Our Solar System, Ranked," 7 Apr. 2020 Rahm and Sandström’s calculation assumed a purely methane environment, for instance, but Titan’s lakes contain ethane and other features that just might coax the molecules into a soft sheet. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "If life exists on Titan, it’s even weirder than we thought," 5 Mar. 2020 To me, that is more of an existential threat to (new ethane plants) than the basic economics of the oil price dropping. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, "Market headwinds buffet Appalachia’s future as a center for petrochemicals," 21 Mar. 2020 Those lakes are filled with methane and ethane rather than water, and any inhabitants would have to deal with temperatures reaching 300 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, but where liquid sloshes, life might find a way. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "If life exists on Titan, it’s even weirder than we thought," 5 Mar. 2020 While turning ethylene to ethane is an old idea, no one has ever used uranium before. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "We Don't Need to Be Afraid of Depleted Uranium," 13 Jan. 2020 Although margins could dip in the U.S., the region is still expected to be somewhat shielded from the worst of the downturn in the sector because of its access to lower cost ethane unleashed by the shale boom. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Report: Supply glut could force some petrochemical projects to close by mid-2020s," 7 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for ethane

Time Traveler

The first known use of ethane was in 1866

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Statistics for ethane

Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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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

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