Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to cetane: Cetane rating


A colorless liquid, C16H34, used as a solvent and as a performance standard for diesel fuels.

[Latin cētus, whale (so called because it is found in sperm whale oil); see Cetus + -ane.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Elements & Compounds) a colourless insoluble liquid alkane hydrocarbon used in the determination of the cetane number of diesel fuel. Formula: C16H34. Also called: hexadecane
[C19: from Latin cētus whale + -ane, so called because related compounds are found in sperm whale oil]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsi teɪn)

a colorless, liquid hydrocarbon, the alkane C16H34, used as a solvent.
[1930–35; cet(yl) (cetyl alcohol) + -ane]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
With increasing need for reducing the ignition delays during combustion, demand for the cetane improvers is expected to rev up.
Demand for high quality 'clean burning diesel', with high cetane, almost no sulphur and limited emissions is driven by public opinion, new legislation and fuel efficiency requirements.
Besides reduction of sulfur content of the gasoil, its Cetane number will increase from 2 to 5, he added.
It cleans diesel injector deposits across a range of injector technologies and comes with Cetane Improver.
Independent lab certified to reduce Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) by 20% and overall emissions by 21% and has been shown to deliver an average Cetane rating over 52 when added to regular diesel fuel at fill up, Dynamo[TM] Diesel Cetane Booster also improves engine performance, power, and increases miles per gallon along with improving cold flow, increasing lubricity and cleaning fuel injectors.
According to this resolution, at least eight quality parameters of diesel are analyzed in official monitoring laboratories: aspect; color; density; flash point; total sulfur; volatility (distillation temperatures at 10% (T10), 50% (T50), and 85% (T85) recovery); cetane index; and biodiesel content [23].
Various fuel properties like kinematic viscosity, flash point, pour point, cloud point, total acid number, specific gravity, water and sediments, conradson carbon residue, sulfur contents, phosphorous contents, sulphated ash, cetane and copper corrosion were determined and found comparable to ASTM standards.
The upgraded PNS/DOE QS 013:2017: CME-blended industrial diesel oil specifications include introduction of cetane number or derived cetane number as new property, removal of distillation property, reduction in the limit of carbon residue, increase the limits of density, flash point and kinematic viscosity and updating of test method.
On the other hand, fuel additives are preferable in the case of good quality oil that needs to boost a property such as cetane number or lubricity in order to improve the engine performance.