Chemistry Question #149

John Douglass, a 52 year old male from the Internet asks on March 15, 2000,

Hexane seeps out of the ground at old sites of underground gasoline storage tanks. Can I smell this hexane?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on March 15, 2000

Yes. Hexane has a characteristic aromatic odour similar to cleaning solvent, paint thinner, gasoline and related compounds. The Merck Manual calls it a "faint, peculiar odour". It is definitely not odourless.

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