What Is the Difference Between Polar and Nonpolar Hexane?

Hexane is a white liquid chemical molecule that exists at ambient temperature. It is classed as an alkane with six carbon atoms, which is an organic chemical. Hexane has the chemical formula C6H14. In their pure state, these alkanes have no odour. Many science students may be unsure whether or not hexane is polar. In this post, I will respond to this question as well as discuss related themes.

Is Hexane Nonpolar or Polar? Because of its symmetric geometrical structure, hexane is nonpolar in nature. Despite the electronegativity difference of 0.35 between carbon and hydrogen, the dipole is cancelled out by the symmetry, making the C6H12 a polar molecule.

At room temperature, it is a white liquid with a boiling point of 50-70 degrees Celsius.

The processing of crude oil produces hexane. In chemical laboratories, it is commonly used as a solvent.

It’s an alkane with a chain of six carbon atoms. These are important components of gasoline or fuel.

Hexane has a chemical composition of 6 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms. It’s a six-carbon chained hydrocarbon.

Carbon has an electronegativity of 2.55 and hydrogen has an electronegativity of 2.2. In the C-H bond, there is a variation in electronegativity.

Polarity develops in a covalent link between atoms with varying electronegativity.

The difference in electronegativity between Carbon and Hydrogen is roughly 0.35 in this case.

As a result, the dipole moment of that covalent bond is nonzero.

If the molecule’s form is symmetrical, the dipoles of the polar bonds cancel each other out, causing the molecule to be nonpolar.

As a result, the total molecule’s net dipole moment is equal to zero.

Hexane is known for its low reactivity and ability to act as an excellent solvent for reactive chemicals.

It’s similar to gasoline in that it’s highly flammable and has a significant chance of exploding.

What is the difference between polar and nonpolar molecules?

The charge distribution across the bond established between two atoms determines the polarity of a chemical molecule.

The connection formed between the two atoms is said to be nonpolar if the charge is uniformly divided between them. When the charge distribution across the bond is unequal, the bond is said to be polar.

Depending on characteristics such as electronegativity, dipole moment, and the geometrical shape of the molecule, covalent bonds can be polar or nonpolar.

Polar molecules are those in which the atoms have an uneven charge distribution on their surfaces. The atoms forming a chemical covalent link in such molecules have an electronegative difference between them.

The higher electronegative atom draws the bound electron pair slightly towards itself and receives a partial negative charge as a result of this difference. The other receives a partly positive charge in exchange.

These compounds have a nonzero net dipole moment.

CO and H2O are examples of polar molecules. You can look into the explanation for CO’s polarity.

Nonpolar molecule: These are molecules in which the atoms that are covalently bound share the same number of electrons.

The shape of the molecules is symmetrical. If the covalent link established by the two atoms is nonpolar, they will have the same electronegativity.

It’s also worth noting that polar bonds can occur within a nonpolar molecule, but their polarity cancels out due to the molecule’s symmetrical structure.

Nonpolar molecules have a net dipole moment of zero.

Hexane is a polar molecule for a reason.

Hexane has 6 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms in its chemical structure.

Carbon and hydrogen have an electronegativity difference of 0.35 units.

Because carbon is more electronegative than hydrogen, the resulting covalent bond (C-H) is polar. Carbon has a higher fraction of bound pairs of electrons than other elements. The carbon receives a partial negative charge, whereas the hydrogen receives a positive charge.

However, instead of possessing polar bonds C-H in the hexane molecule, the polarity of these bonds is cancelled by each other due to the asymmetrical form of the hexane molecule, making the hexane a nonpolar molecule.

Factors that influence a molecule’s polarity

Electronegativity: An atom’s electronegativity is its ability to pull bound pairs towards it. When the electronegativity of atoms in a molecule differs, the polarity of the molecule rises.

A molecule’s polarity is proportional to the difference in electronegativity between its atoms.

The dipole moment is a measurement of a molecule’s polarity. A molecule’s polarity is proportional to its dipole moment.

It is the product of the charge and the distance between them in mathematics. The letter D stands for it.

Geometrical structure: Symmetrical molecules tend to be nonpolar because the dipoles cancel each other out in the situation where polar linkages exist within the molecule.

Hexane’s Molecular Geometry

Hexane is a symmetrical molecule, meaning it takes the shape of a tetrahedron with a bond angle of 109.5 degrees between the carbon and hydrogen atoms.

Carbon atoms are consecutively followed by one another in a chain.

The molecular structure of Hexane is shown below.

Hexane’s Characteristics

Hexane has a molecular weight of 86.18 units.

Hexane has a density of roughly 0.659 g/mL at 25 degrees Celsius.

Hexane has a boiling point of 69°C. It has a melting point of -95oC.

Hexane has a dielectric constant of 1.89 at 20 degrees Celsius.

At 20oC, its refractive index is roughly 1.375.

Hexane has a vapour pressure of 132 mm Hg at 20°C.

Hexane’s Applications

Hexane is a common component of gasoline and commercial gas. Alkanes with four to six carbon chains, such as hexane, make up the majority of gases.

Hexane is widely used in the food industry. It’s commonly used to extract lipids from a variety of foods.

Extracting vegetable oils from seeds and soy is done with hexane. Hexane is used to make the majority of soy products in the United States.

Hexane is utilised in a variety of sectors, including the production of glues, leather goods, and roofing tiles.

Hexane is used to treat roofing tiles to keep them from corroding.


Hexane is a colourless liquid made up of six carbon chains linked together by hydrogen atoms. Because the electronegativity of carbon and hydrogen differs, the C-H bond is polar.

However, the polarity of these polar bonds cancels out with each other due to the symmetrical form of the Hexane molecule, making the Hexane a polar compound.

If you have any queries about hexane’s polarity, please post them in the comments section. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Read more: Is NaCN a base or an acid?

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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