A solid mixture formed by saturated hydrocarbons that have low chemical reactive capacity. In other words, it is the general name for saturated hydrocarbons in oil series.
SOLID MIXTURE OF SATURATED HYDROCARBONS
Paraffin is a solid matter like wax, it is a mixture of saturated fatty hydrocarbons and it has rich carbon content. Ozocerite, fossil wax and hatchettin are generally natural paraffins soiled with bituminous components. Most of the petroleum products contain paraffin that is obtained by separation distillation. Natural vaseline is a soft paraffin found in some petroleum products (e.g. Aquitaine petrol) in small amounts. Paraffin may also be obtained from many different organic components like wax, bitumen in animal matters and wood tar.
Crude paraffin contains colorful and fragrant products and it is refined after being treated with sulphate acid and washed with water. Light oils are added and then the mixture is compressed, then its color is removed in a desired extent with animal charcoal and finally it is cleaned by superheated steam. Pure paraffin is a colorless, semi-transparent, odorless and tasteless solid that is insoluble in water. It dissolves in boiling alcohol and during the cooling of the obtained mixture, long and brittle paraffin crystals come down. Paraffin can also dissolve in ether, tar, schist and petroleum oils.
Its density varies between 870 and 910 kg/m3, melting point varies between 30 and 63°C and boiling point varies between 350 and 450 °C depending on its preparation method and origin. It ignites in air at around 160 °G and burns with a very bright flame. It does not affected by bases and diluted acids. Chromic mixture and nitric acid oxidizes paraffin to fatty acids.
AREAS OF USE
Industry consumes large amount of paraffin. Hard paraffins, which has higher melting points than 50°C, are used for wax production. Soft paraffins are used in production of matches without sulphur and making fabrics and leathers water-proof. Paraffin may be substitute for liquid oil in laboratories and constant temperature baths.
By mixing paraffin with heavy oils in petroleum, synthetic vaseline that has the same usage with natural vaseline in petroleum is obtained. Melted paraffin with sulphur creates a non-conductive material. Paraffin is also used in plastic surgery. Paraffin oil or vaseline oil is used as a mechanic softener in medical treatments. Paints that contain paraffin consist of a benzene and a solvent that is called as white spirit and those paints should be used at 80°C.
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