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Any of several isomeric, volatile, colorless, highly flammable liquid hydrocarbons, C7H16, obtained in the fractional distillation of petroleum and used as solvents. The straight-chain isomer is also used as a standard in determining octane ratings and as an anesthetic.


(Elements & Compounds) an alkane existing in nine isomeric forms, esp the isomer with a straight chain of carbon atoms (n-heptane), which is found in petroleum and used as an anaesthetic. Formula: C7H16
[C19: from hepta- + -ane, so called because it has seven carbon atoms]


(ˈhɛp teɪn)

any of nine isomeric hydrocarbons, C7H16, of the alkane series, some of which are obtained from petroleum: used in fuels, as solvents, and as chemical intermediates.
[1870–75; < Greek hept(á) seven + -ane]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.heptane - a colorless volatile highly flammable liquid obtained from petroleum and used as an anesthetic or a solvent or in determining octane ratings
alkane, alkane series, methane series, paraffin series, paraffin - a series of non-aromatic saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH(2n+2)
References in periodicals archive ?
Following an inspection by officials from EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, EPA cited the company for RCRA violations involving hazardous waste stored at the facility, including waste solvents, waste acetone, waste heptanes, and universal waste lamps.
The controller then calculates theoretical values for the hexanes, heptanes, and octanes used in the energy and physical properties calculations from fixed ratios of the measured C6+ concentration.