Pentane Characteristics
Synonyms n-Pentane
CAS No. 109-66-0
Chemical formula C5H12
Vapour density 2.48 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA 600 ppm
STEL 750 ppm
Flammable limits LEL 1.1 % by volume
UEL 8.7 % by volume
Equipment group IIA
Temperature classification T3
Chemical/physical properties Pentane, similar to Hexane, is a low boiling point (36 °C) hydrocarbon which at room temperature is a highly volatile, colourless liquid with a flammable vapour. It has petrol-like odour usually not detectable by smell below about 400 ppm. 
Hazardous properties Pentane vapour if inhaled can have irritant and narcotic effects but is considered to be relatively harmless if exposures are kept below the ES’s.
Pentane’s main risk comes from its flammability and spills in controlled hazardous areas where there are no ignition sources, can travel (e.g. by floating on top of water in a drain) to areas where there might be ignition sources and flash back to the source of the spill.
Occurrence/Uses Pentane is used as an industrial solvent, a blowing agent in plastic foam manufacture and in solvent extraction processes.
Detectors available Catalytic bead (0 – 100 % LEL)
Gas detector tube (50 – 1,000 ppm)
Photoionisation (PID) (0 – 20,000 ppm)
Suggested alarm levels Lo: 5 % LEL (550 ppm)
Hi: 10 % LEL (1,100 ppm)


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