Definition - What does Naphtha mean?

Naphtha is a general category of hydrocarbons that are volatile. Flammability is often another requirement for a hydrocarbon to be considered naphtha. The etymology of naphtha goes back to ancient Greece. Naphtha is typically used as a fuel or a solvent.

Corrosionpedia explains Naphtha

Many hydrocarbons are considered to be a type of naphtha. For example, gasoline and kerosene are considered fuel versions of naphtha and are both derived from petroleum. Other sources of naphtha include coal tar and even wood.

Naphtha is also used as an industrial solvent to clean materials by dissolving contaminants. Naphtha is also used in oil-based paints to keep them in a liquid state. Portable heat and light sources often rely on naphtha as a source of fuel.

Naphtha is generally considered to be hazardous to both humans and the environment. Naphtha is known to be carcinogenic and cause respiratory and brain damage if too much is inhaled. Naphtha typically has a pungent odor and is easily detectable by the sense of smell. Naphtha is dangerous to the environment because it can contaminant rivers and lakes and cause damage to plant life and wildlife if not handled properly.

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