https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/hexane Another name for hexane is skellysolve-B, is that just to be silly?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Presumably that was/is a trade name. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 8 '18 at 2:00

It's probably considerably notorious historical trade name. In many older publications, e.g. "Skellysolve B (petroleum ether)"[1,2] appears for solvent used.

It was a product or trade name of Skelly Oil Company[3] founded in 1919.

It's not a pure hexane, rather narrow-boiling hexane oil fraction.[3]

I could find analysis of similar product Skellysolve C, which is C7 heptane fraction:[3]

  • 24.9% heptane
  • 22.9%
    • 2,3-dimethylpentane
    • 2-methylhexane
    • 3-methylhexane
  • 19.3%
    • trans-1,2-dimethylcyclopentane
    • trans-1,3-dimethylcyclopentane
  • 15.0% methylcyclohexane
  • 5.5% cyclohexane
  • 5.2% heavy nonaromatics
  • 2.7% toluene
  • 2.5% hexane

Other ones:[4]

Skellysolve A is essentially n-pentane, b 28-30°/atm,
Skellysolve B is essentially n-hexane, b 60-68°/atm,
Skellysolve C is essentially n-heptane, b 90-100°/atm,
Skellysolve D is mixed heptanes, b 75-115°/atm,
Skellysolve E is mixed octanes, b 100-140°/atm,
Skellysolve F is petroleum ether, b 30-60°/atm,
Skellysolve G is petroleum ether, b 40-75°/atm,
Skellysolve H is hexanes and heptanes, b 69-96°/atm,
Skellysolve L is essentially octanes, b 95-127°/atm.

Unfortunately, Chemical Abstracts Service, mixes names for different substances, including this tradename: “n-hexane”, “hexane (all isomers)”, “Skellysolve B” under single CAS RN 110-54-3.[5]


  1. Newman, H.; Zilversmit, D. Quantitative Aspects of Cholesterol Flux in Rabbit Atheromatous Lesions. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1962, 237 (7), 2078–2084.
  2. Holick, M. F.; DeLUCA, H. F. A New Chromatographic System for Vitamin D3, and Its Metabolites: Resolution of a New Vitamin D3, Metabolite. J. Lipid Res. 1971, 12 (4), 460–465.
  3. Griswold, J.; Andres, D.; Berg, C. F. V.; Kasch, J. E. Pure Hydrocarbons from Petroleum - Separation of Straight-Run Fractions by Distex Process. Ind. Eng. Chem. 1946, 38 (1), 65–70.
  4. Armarego, W. L. Purification of Laboratory Chemicals; Butterworth-Heinemann, 2017.
  5. CommonChemistry.org – CAS Registry Number: 110-54-3
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