Definition - What does Paraffin mean?
Paraffin refers to many chemicals that are white or colorless soft solids and combustible liquid that consists of saturated hydrocarbons, mainly alkane series, obtained from a petroleum refinery. Its varieties are as follows:
- Paraffin wax – solid form used as a lubricant and for other applications
- Liquid paraffin – used in cosmetics and for medical purposes
- Mineral oil – a distillate of petroleum
- Petroleum jelly – a soft paraffin
Corrosionpedia explains Paraffin
Paraffin is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid known as liquid paraffin or paraffin oil used for burning as a fuel and rust protector. Paraffin is not as volatile as gasoline. Its primary source is petroleum distillate. It can also be extracted from coal, wood and oil shale. In chemistry, paraffin consists of hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2.
In a solid form, paraffin is known as paraffin wax. In liquid form, it is known as paraffin oil. Liquid paraffin oil has two varieties, namely: heavy liquid paraffin oil or light liquid paraffin oil. Paraffin is famous for its clean burning output. Paraffin wax is commonly used as lubrication, electrical insulation and candles. Paraffin wax is a better insulator than nearly all other materials except some plastics. Paraffin wax is distinct from kerosene, which sometimes known as paraffin.
Liquid paraffin is widely used as a lubricant for machinery and fuel for jet engines and rockets, and as fuel or a fuel component for diesel and tractor engines. It helps to reduce the wear and tear of expensive machinery and equipment. Paraffin is also used as coolant in heating systems and is a solvent for greases and insecticides. Paraffin waxes also have properties to employ as an adhesive and as a water-proofing agent. Liquid paraffin is also used to preserve unstable substances.
Paraffin is also used in in-situ coating applications to protect the pipeline from corrosion. The paraffin used for coatings is a fully refined wax. Paraffin wax is an effective material for biofouling inhibition and online cleaning of heat exchangers. It is biodegradable and readily available, affordable and suitable for use with aqueous systems.