Definition - What does Paraffin mean?

Paraffin, also known as kerosene is a viscous petroleum product obtained from the distillation of crude oil in oil refineries. Crude oil that contains high amount of paraffin falls in the category of heavy crude oil and its API degree is below 10 degrees. When such type of crude oil is refined it yields paraffin wax and other lower grade petroleum products. Paraffin is used as a jet fuel, cooking and lighting fuel, and as a solvent in insecticide sprays.

Petropedia explains Paraffin

Paraffin is produced when crude oil is fed into oil refineries for distillation into various refinery cuts also called refinery yields or refined products. Refineries house a large number of chemical engineering unit processes which are useful in converting raw crude oil into useful and valuable petroleum products. Paraffin is primarily derived from crude oil refining, but can also be extracted from coal, oil shale and some special kind of wood. It is generally insoluble in water and has a high melting point, ranging from 48 to 68 degrees Celsius.

The solid form of paraffin is known as paraffin wax. The paraffin wax obtained from paraffin is primarily used in the manufacture of wax candles. Apart from candle manufacturing, it is also used in the food industry, cosmetics industry and pharmaceutical industry.

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