Pentane (C5H12) is a straight-chain alkane with five carbon atoms. It is a volatile and flammable liquid at room temperature and is found in the gasoline fraction during the refining of crude oil. Being highly flammable, it's used as a component in some fuel mixtures and as a solvent in laboratories. Additionally, pentane is utilized in the production of foam and polystyrene, serving as a blowing agent that helps form bubbles within the material. When considering its optical properties, it's relatively transparent in the visible range. Proper precautions should be taken when working with pentane due to its highly flammable nature and potential to form explosive mixtures in air.