peat wax[′pēt ‚waks]
a product obtained in the processing of peat tar. A distinction is made between crude peat wax, a dark brown to black pitchlike mass with a melting point of 50°–75°C; detarred peat wax; and refined peat wax. The tar is extracted from peat by organic solvents, such as benzine, ethylene dichloride, and mixtures of alcohol and benzene. The tar yield is 3–8 percent of the absolutely dry material. The composition of crude peat wax is 40–45 percent wax, 40–45 percent paraffin, and 10–20 percent tar. Detarred peat wax is obtained by treating crude peat wax with cold benzine; the refined product is obtained by treating detarred peat wax with sulfuric acid and potassium dichromate. Peat wax is used to prepare molds for the production of precision castings and to impregnate electrodes. It also finds various applications in the plastics industry.