pen·​tane ˈpen-ˌtān How to pronounce pentane (audio)
: any of three isomeric alkanes C5H12 that occur especially in petroleum

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Thermally expandable microspheres, by contrast, are plastic bubbles, ten microns across, that are filled with a hydrocarbon such as butane, pentane or octane. The Economist, 28 May 2020 Known in the industry as a fractionator, the plant will receive 110,000 barrels of raw natural gas liquids per day and separate them into their more valuable components such as ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, 12 Dec. 2019 The two types of foam also hold different types of gas: Open-cell bubbles are often filled with water vapor, while closed-cell foams are filled with a variety of other chemicals with better insulating properties, such as pentane. Meredith Fore, WIRED, 3 July 2019 Area residents had worried a flammable liquid called pentane used to help turn turbines could explode or release dangerous gas, but the majority of it has been removed from the site and the wells are being capped. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 29 May 2018 The report said authorities removed about 60,000 gallons of flammable pentane from the facility. Fox News, 22 May 2018 Officials removed roughly 50,000 gallons of pentane, a flammable gas similar to lighter fluid used in power generation at the plant, to an off-site industrial park. Washington Post, 1 June 2018 Despite the removal of the pentane, danger remains if the lava reaches the wells. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, 27 May 2018 Meanwhile, the lava in the east rift zone is inching dangerously close to the Puna Geothermal Venture plant that houses 50,000 gallons (190,00 liters) of pentane, a volatile gas. Fox News, 11 May 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pentane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pentane was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near pentane

Cite this Entry

“Pentane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


pen·​tane ˈpen-ˌtān How to pronounce pentane (audio)
: any of three isomeric alkanes C5H12 occurring in petroleum
especially : the volatile flammable liquid straight-chain isomer that has been used to produce anesthesia

More from Merriam-Webster on pentane

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