whale oil


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whale oil,

oil extracted from the blubber and other parts of certain species of whales. It varies in composition, color, and the degree of fishy odor according to the method and extent of refining. Formerly widely used as an illuminant, it was superseded by petroleum products. It is used today in soapmaking, as a leather dressing, and as a lubricant. Some is hydrogenated to form edible fats. The term is also sometimes used to include sperm oilsperm oil,
liquid wax obtained from the sperm whale, or cachalot, and related marine mammals. It flows readily, is clear, and varies in color from pale yellow to brownish yellow. Chemically it is not a true oil.
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whale oil

[′wāl ‚ȯil]
(materials)
A combustible, nontoxic, yellow-brown fixed oil obtained from whale blubber; soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, carbon disulfide, and benzene; used as a lubricant, illuminant, and leather dressing, and in soapmaking and fat manufacture. Also known as blubber oil.
References in periodicals archive ?
In its early days, when Hobart was a major port of whaling, one pint of sperm whale oil was used to fuel the light ever hour, a total of 440 gallons every year, according to a story in The Mercury by Jennifer Crawley.
Although jojoba oil seems similar to other vegetable oils, its chemical composition closely resembles that of sperm whale oil (which was outlawed in 1971).
For many years, from 1933 until at least the end of 1952, the main whaling product was whale oil.
Just as petroleum was an alternative solution to whale oil, coal was the alternative fuel to save society from over use of wood, ethanol alcohol was introduced as an alternative to fossil fuels, and coal gasification as an alternative to expensive imported oil.
Whale oil produced the dearest and cleanest light, but a depleted whale population was forcing ships sailing from places like New Bedford and Nantucket, Massachusetts, to travel farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer whales.
Back in the 19th century, light was provided to American homes by the burning of whale oil and candles made from animal fats.
As whale oil became less plentiful, the availability of petroleum products was a saving grace.
This moment in the history of transportation fuels development can be compared to the transition from whale oil to kerosene to light American homes in the 1850's," Erickson noted, adding that the effort to produce biofuels on a massive scale "is an undertaking larger than the Apollo project or the Manhattan project.
A Princeton historian of science profiles this case, which was set in motion when a New York City fish inspector fined a local merchant who had not submitted three casks of whale oil for inspection and grading.
Analyzing whale oil from the whaling ship Charles W.
QUIZ CHALLENGE: 1 Corazon Aquino; 2 Whale oil made from blubber; 3 Germany; 4 12 yards; 5 Daphne du Maurier.