Paraffin

Definition of Paraffin

Par´af`fin   Pronunciation: păr´ăf`fĭn
n.1.(Chem.) A white waxy substance, resembling spermaceti, tasteless and odorless, and obtained from coal tar, wood tar, petroleum, etc., by distillation. It is used in candles, as a sealing agent (such as in canning of preserves), as a waterproofing agent, as an illuminant and as a lubricant. It is very inert, not being acted upon by most of the strong chemical reagents. It was formerly regarded as a definite compound, but is now known to be a complex mixture of several higher hydrocarbons of the methane or marsh-gas series; hence, by extension, any substance, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, of the same chemical series; thus gasoline, coal gas and kerosene consist largely of paraffins.
Native paraffin
See Ozocerite.
Paraffin series
See Methane series, under Methane.

Related Words

alcohol, avgas, benzine, briquette, burnable, butane, carbon, charcoal, coal, coal oil, coke, combustible, crude, crude oil, dope, electricity, ethane, ethanol, ethyl, ethyl gas, fireball, firing, flammable, flammable material, fossil oil, fuel, fuel additive, fuel dope, gas, gas carbon, gasoline, heptane, hexane, high-octane gas, high-test, illuminant, illuminating gas, inflammable, inflammable material, isooctane, jet fuel, kerosene, lead-free gas, light source, low-lead gas, luminant, methane, methanol, motor oil, natural gas, octane, oil, peat, pentane, petrol, petroleum, premium gas, propane, propellant, regular, rock oil, rocket fuel, turf
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