n-Hexane is primarily used as a solvent in various industrial applications. Some of the major or common uses of n-hexane include:
- Extraction of vegetable oils: n-Hexane is commonly used to extract vegetable oils from plants such as soybeans, peanuts, and cottonseeds. The oil is separated from the plant material by soaking it in n-hexane, which dissolves the oil.
- Production of rubber and plastic: n-Hexane is used as a solvent in the production of synthetic rubber and plastics. It is also used as a cleaning agent to remove residual impurities from these materials.
- Adhesive production: n-Hexane is used as a solvent in the production of various types of adhesives, including contact adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, and solvent-based adhesives.
- Cleaning agent: n-Hexane is used as a cleaning agent for machinery and equipment in various industries, including electronics, automotive, and printing.
- Fuel: n-Hexane is sometimes blended with gasoline to improve its octane rating and reduce emissions.
It is important to note that n-hexane is a hazardous chemical and should be handled with caution in all applications. Proper safety measures should be taken to minimize exposure and prevent accidents.