Since the 1913 edition of Webster's dictionary, the nomenclature of hydrocarbons has become more specific in regards to structure. Decane is now specifically a string of ten linked carbon atoms, like so:

  H H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | | |
  H H H H H H H H H H
Other forms of C10H22 are not considered decane, but are identified by naming the longest string of carbon atoms, then referencing the branches off of them, as in 2-methyl nonane, below:
  H H H H H H H H H
  | | | | | | | | |
H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-H
  | | | | | | | | |
  H | H H H H H H H
  H-C-H
    |
    H

Dec"ane (?), n. [See Deca-.] Chem.

A liquid hydrocarbon, C10H22, of the paraffin series, including several isomeric modifications.

 

© Webster 1913.

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