What is Butadiene? - Structure, Properties & Formula

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

When the rubber hits the road, you can thank butadiene. You may not know what that means yet but you'll find out on this lesson on butadiene's structure, properties and formula.


What does butadiene mean to you? If you're like most people, absolutely nothing. Some of us can barely pronounce it. But butadiene, also called 1,3-butadiene, is actually used to help make a lot of the things you are definitely familiar with, including:

  • Tires
  • Gloves
  • Wetsuits
  • Hoses
  • Gaskets and seals

And by the end of this lesson, you'll also be very familiar with butadiene's structure, properties and formula as that's what this lesson is going to be about.

Structure & Formula

Butadiene's formula is pretty simple, it's just C4 H6. 'C' stands for carbon and 'H' stands for hydrogen. Butadiene's structure can be represented in one of three ways as you can see in this lesson.

  • The Lewis structure clearly labels all of the atoms found in butadiene.
  • In the 3D ball and stick model, each carbon atom is represented by a black ball and each hydrogen atom is represented by a white ball.
  • In the skeletal formula the carbon atoms are implicitly found in each 'mountain' peak and valley.

Each carbon atom has four bonds. Single line represents one bond and a double line represent two bonds. So each carbon atom's remaining bonds are thus with a hydrogen atom.


Butadiene has numerous chemical and physical properties. Its molecular weight is 54.092 g/mol, but its exact mass is 54.047 g/mol. It has a specific gravity of 0.62 at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a vapor pressure of 1,840 mm Hg (millimeter of mercury) at 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in things like alcohol, acetone and benzene.

Butadiene has a melting point of -164 degrees Fahrenheit (-109 degrees Celsius). Below 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius), butadiene is a liquid. In fact, it's shipped as a liquefied compressed gas. But don't touch the liquefied gas! Or else you'll frostbite.

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