Paraffin Wax (Petroleum Wax) is a soft colorless solid substance derived from petroleum, coal or shale oil, which consists of a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules between twenty and forty carbon atoms.
What is solid paraffin?
In fact, paraffin found in solid form is called paraffin wax, petroleum wax or solid paraffin. This substance is a white or colorless soft wax, which is extracted from oil, coal or oil rocks and is composed of saturated hydrocarbon molecules between twenty and forty carbon atoms.
It is solid at room temperature and starts to melt above 37°C (99°F). Its boiling point is above 370 °C (698 °F). Solid paraffin is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Paraffin has a low melting point. The color of paraffin wax varies depending on the amount of oil and its transparency. Paraffin wax was first produced by Karl Reichenbach in Germany in 1830.
This material is also called paraffin candle. Paraffin candles are odorless, white, and bluish. Paraffin wax is mostly in the form of a white, odorless, and tasteless waxy solid substance that has a normal melting point between 46 and 68 degrees Celsius and a density of about 900 kg/m3. The freezing point of solid paraffin is in the temperature range between 50 and 55 degrees Celsius. In fact, for this reason, most of this substance exists in solid form. Solid paraffin does not dissolve in water. But it is soluble in ether, benzene, and certain esters. Solid paraffin is not affected by most common chemicals but burns easily. Its heat of combustion is 42 MJ/kg. Solid paraffin often contains 3 to 5% oil, which is usually milky white in color and has a gel state.
What is paraffin wax?
Solid paraffin that has high quality and low oil percentage and is white in color and odorless and tasteless is called paraffin wax.
Types of solid paraffin
- Edible paraffin
- Sanitary paraffin
- Industrial paraffin
Choosing the right type of paraffin
Many points are important in buying paraffin. But first, you should check the uses of paraffin. Because the quality of paraffin is determined according to its use in the industry. For example, in paraffin candle making, the percentage of oil must be low, so that the candle has quality, but in the lubrication industry, it is completely the opposite.
In fact, paraffin with a whiter color has a higher quality than milky and pale paraffin. A simple test can be used to ensure the quality of paraffin. That is, by breaking the paraffin, there are crystal grains in the middle, which indicates the quality of the paraffin. The whiter and more and more sugary these crystals are, the better the desired paraffin is.
Application of paraffin wax or solid paraffin
Common applications of paraffin wax include lubrication, electrical insulation, and candles. Colored paraffin wax is used in the production of colored pencils. It is distinct from kerosene and other petroleum products, which are sometimes called paraffin.
Paraffin wax is an excellent electrical insulator with a resistance between 1013 and 1017 ohm meters. It is more practical than almost all materials except some plastics (especially Teflon). It is an effective neutron moderator and was used in James Chadwick’s experiments in 1932 to detect neutrons. This material is an excellent material for storing heat due to its specific heat capacity.
In industrial applications, modification of the crystalline properties of paraffin wax is usually associated with the addition of branches to the carbon chain. Chain lengthening is usually done with additives such as EVA copolymers, microcrystalline wax or polyethylene forms. The branching properties result in a refined paraffin with a higher viscosity and a smaller crystal structure.
It is used in beauty salons for skin softening and spa treatments on hands, cuticles, and feet.
In medicine, it is used to relieve joint and muscle pain. In fact, paraffin works for heat therapy and can help increase blood flow, relax muscles, and reduce joint stiffness. It also has the ability to minimize muscle spasms and inflammation.
It is used in agriculture to prepare fertilizer.
As fat in water treatment to prepare runoff water in dry areas
It is used as glue and waterproof material.
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