Ethane can be prepared in a laboratory by heating ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) with excess of concentrated sulphuric acid at 160-170°C.
C2H5OH + H2SO4CH2 -------》 CH2 + H2O
Catalyst= conc. H2So4
A mixture of ethanol and sulphuric acid is taken in RB flask. A small amount of aluminium sulphate and and is taken in flask; to facilitate dehydration and prevent frothing. Now, free end of delivery tube is dipped into a wash bottle containing sodium hydroxide solution. The impurities like carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide are removed here. Lastly, pure ethane is collected by downward displacement of water.