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(also ozocerite, mineral wax), a mineral, a bitumen of the naphthide group resembling beeswax in appearance. Large aggregates of ozokerite form the rock known as wax. Ozokerite varies in color from light green and yellow to dark brown, is greasy to the touch, has a characteristic kerosene odor, and can be readily ignited with a match.
Ozokerite constitutes a mixture of solid high-melting hydrocarbons, primarily of the paraffin series CnH2n+2, with an admixture of liquid hydrocarbons from the same series. Its consistency ranges from pasty to solid and, more rarely, brittle, depending on the quantity of admixtures. The density varies from less than 850 kg/m3 to 1,000 kg/m3.
Ozokerite is 84—86 percent carbon and 13.5–15 percent hydrogen. Its melting point is 52°-85°C, sometimes higher. The mineral is soluble in gasoline, kerosene, petroleum, carbon disulfide, benzene, and chloroform but is almost insoluble in alcohol, water, and alkalies. It is genetically associated with paraffin-base petroleum deposits and occurs in veins and strata. Sands and limestones contain 4—16 percent ozokerite.
Ozokerite is used in the cosmetics industry to make lotions and creams. It is also used to manufacture varnishes and lacquers and to treat textiles. Medically, the mineral is used in pelotherapy. A good deal of ozokerite is processed into ceresine (ceresin).
The USSR’s largest ozokerite deposits are located in Drogobych Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; Cheleken, Turkmen SSR; and Fergana, Uzbek SSR.