Biological. Decane may biodegrade in two ways. The first is the formation of decyl
hydroperoxide, which decomposes to 1-decanol, followed by oxidation to decanoic acid. The other
pathway involves dehydrogenation to 1-decene, which may react with water giving 1-decanol
(Dugan, 1972). Microorganisms can oxidize alkanes under aerobic conditions (Singer and
Finnerty, 1984). The most common degradative pathway involves the oxidation of the terminal
methyl group forming the corresponding alcohol (1-decanol). The alcohol may undergo a series of
dehydrogenation steps, forming decanal, followed by oxidation forming decanoic acid. The fatty
acid may then be metabolized by β-oxidation to form the mineralization products, carbon dioxide
and water (Singer and Finnerty, 1984). Hou (1982) reported 1-decanol and 1,10-decanediol as
degradation products by the microorganism Corynebacterium.Photolytic. A photooxidation reaction rate constant of 1.16 x 10-11 cm3/molecule?sec was
reported for the reaction of decane with OH in the atmosphere (Atkinson, 1990).
Chemical/Physical. Complete combustion in air yields carbon dioxide and water vapor. Decane
will not hydrolyze because it has no hydrolyzable functional group.
Clear, colorless liquid. Reported odor threshold concentrations were 11.3 mg/m3 by Laffort and
Dravnieks (1973) and 620 ppbv by Nagata and Takeuchi (1990).
Internal standard in the GC analysis of oxalic, malonic, and succinic acids in biological materials.
carcinogen with experimental tumorigenic
data. A simple asphyxiant. Narcotic in high
concentrations, Flammable liquid when
exposed to heat or flame. Can react with
oxidizing materials. Moderately explosive in
its vapor form. To fight fire, use foam, CO2,
dry chemical. Emitted from modern
buildtng materials (CENEAR 69,22,91). See
also ARGON for discussion of asphyxiants.
A colorless liquid. Flash point 115°F. Less dense than water and insoluble in water. Vapors heavier than air. In high concentrations its vapors may be narcotic. Used as a solvent and to make other chemicals.
Air & Water Reactions
Flammable. Insoluble in water.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 43, p. 2259, 1978 DOI: 10.1021/jo00405a036Tetrahedron Letters, 34, p. 3745, 1993 DOI: 10.1016/S0040-4039(00)79216-1
Decane, C10H22, is a flammable liquid with specific
gravity 0.73. Decane is a constituent in the paraffin
fraction of crude oil and natural gas. It is released to the
environment via the manufacture, use, and disposal of many
products associated with the petroleum, gasoline, and plastics
Decane is obtained mainly from the refining of petroleum. It
is a component of engine fuel and is used in organic synthesis,
as a solvent, as a standardized hydrocarbon, and in jet fuel
It can be purified by shaking with conc H2SO4, washing with water, aqueous NaHCO3, and more water, then drying with MgSO4, refluxing with Na and distilling. Also purify through a column of silica gel or alumina. It has been purified by azeotropic distillation with 2-butoxyethanol, the alcohol being washed out of the distillate, using water, the decane is next dried and redistilled. It can be stored with NaH. Further purification can be achieved by preparative gas chromatography on a column packed with 30% SE-30 (General Electric methyl-silicone rubber) on 42/60 Chromosorb P at 150o and 40psig, using helium [Chu J Chem Phys 41 226 1964]. It is soluble in EtOH and Et2O. [Beilstein 1 IV 484.]
DECANE is incompatible with oxidizing agents.
Major constituent in paraffin (quoted, Verschueren, 1983).
Identified as one of 140 volatile constituents in used soybean oils collected from a processing
plant that fried various beef, chicken, and veal products (Takeoka et al., 1996).
California Phase II reformulated gasoline contained decane at a concentration of 1,120 mg/kg.
Gas-phase tailpipe emission rates from gasoline-powered automobiles with and without catalytic
converters were 300 and 42,600 μg/km, respectively (Schauer et al., 2002).
Special Hazards of Combustion Products: May produce toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide.
Contact with eyes may produce mild irritation. Contact with skin may cause defatting, redness, scaling, and hair loss. Ingestion may cause diarrhea, slight central nervous system depression, difficulty in breathing and fatigue. Inhalation of high concentrations may cause rapid breathing, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and other CNS effects.
Mice treated with decane
developed tumors on the backs, after exposure to ultraviolet
radiation at wavelengths longer than 350 nm, generally
considered noncarcinogenic. A series of 21 tobacco
smoke components and related compounds were applied to
mouse skin (50 female ICR/Ha Swiss mice/group) three
times weekly with 5 mug/application of benzo[a]pyrene
(B[a]P). The test compounds were of five classes: aliphatic
hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, and longchain
acids and alcohols. Decane was among the compounds
that enhanced remarkably the carcinogenicity of B[a]P.
and also acted as tumor promoter in two-stage