Definition - What does Naphtha mean?

Naphtha is a product which is obtained through the dry distillation of organic substances such as shale or crude oil in a refinery. Since it is the second lightest product of all the refinery yields produced, it is obtained immediately after liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) during the first distillation process. Naphtha is highly combustible fuel and is used as a feedstock fuel for petrochemical industry.

Petropedia explains Naphtha

Once crude oil is produced it needs to be refined in various petroleum products so that it can be used. Crude oil is processed in a chemical processing factory known as a refinery, which refines the crude oil. The crude oil is processed into various refined products such as LPG, Naphtha, Kerosene, Diesel, Gasoline, Jet Oil, Fuel Oil, Bitumen and coal tar.

Naphtha is one of the refined products which get produced as the second refined product in the crude distillation unit. It is a colorless, non-volatile petroleum distillate that has higher carbon content from butane, i.e., C5 to C9. Therefore, it is produced after LPG but before other petroleum products such as Gasoline, Kerosene, diesel oil, fuel oil, etc. Below is the representation of sequence in which petroleum products are formed when crude oil is processed through the first crude distillation unit:

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