Chemical Formula for Propane


Propane is a gas derived from fossil fuel and is used for cooking and heating. Analysis shows it is made completely of carbon and hydrogen; its basic formula is C3H8.

Formula Refinement

  • Carbon can bind to other carbons and in propane the three carbons are bound to each other, one after the other. In addition, each carbon must have four bonds total, so the hydrogens are bound to each carbon in propane to complete the four bond requirement. This results in three hydrogens bound to each of the end carbons, and two hydrogens bound to the middle carbon. This structure can be represented by drawing straight lines and 90 degree angles between all atoms (Figure 1).


  • The actual angle between all bound atoms is 109.5 degrees and three dimensional representations of propane include a zig-zag structure (Figure 2).


  • Molecules in three-dimension are in constant motion and atoms connected by a single bond can potentially rotate unrestricted about that bond.

Energy Considerations

  • Since atoms are charged, repulsions must be considered. The best energy position has hydrogen atoms staggered on different carbons .

Chemical Reactivity

  • Not all hydrogens are chemically equivalent; the two hydrogens on carbon two are in a different environment than those on carbons one and three. Hydrogens on carbon two are more reactive.


  • Photo Credit Figure 1. Propane - Simple Structure; Image by Author
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • What Are Methane, Butane & Propane Gases?

    Chemical Formula for Propane; Properties of Hydrogen As a Fuel; How to Make a Pig Out of a Propane Bottle; About...

  • How to Calculate Propane Usage

    You can calculate propane usage using the formula provided below. Each propane tank size has an approximate BTU capacity that you can...

  • What Is a Chemical Formula?

    A chemical formula is a representation of the elements in a molecule. Although the word "formula" connotes an equation, chemical formula are...

  • How to Calculate the Energy of a Combustion Reaction

    Write out the chemical equation for the combustion reaction and balance it. ... Example: Propane has the molecular formula C3H8.

  • Propane Vs. Methane for Heating

    How to Compare Natural Gas & Propane Gas Costs; The Cons of Propane Heating; Print this article; Types. Methane has the molecular...

  • How to Draw Isomers

    If a structure of a compound is given, ... How do I Draw Tetrahedral Isomers? Isomers are different compounds comprised of the...

  • What Are the 18 Isomers of Octane?

    Each octane molecule forms a different three-dimensional ... A compound with the formula C3H8 has only ... butane is the fact that...

  • What Is Butane Fuel?

    Butane (chemical formula C4H10) is a highly flammable, odorless, colorless hydrocarbon ... Propane and butane have about as many similarities as they...

  • Why Burning Propane Makes Water

    Propane is a gas that's produced during petroleum production. ... Propane is a hydrocarbon with a chemical formula of three carbon atoms...

  • How to Find Mole Ratio

    For every mole of propane burned in this example, you get 4 moles of water. Mole ratio = 1/4. Related Searches. References....

Related Searches

Read Article

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!