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paraffin, white, more-or-less translucent, odorless, tasteless, waxy solid. It melts between 47℃ and 65℃ and is insoluble in water but soluble in ether, benzene, and certain esters. Paraffin is unaffected by most common chemical reagents but burns readily in air. Obtained from petroleum during refining, it is used in candles, for coating paper, and for various other purposes. Chemically, paraffin is a mixture of high-molecular-weight alkanes, i.e., saturated hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2, where n is an integer between 22 and 27.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a petroleum product that consists of a mixture of predominantly straight-chain alkanes that range from nine to 40 carbon atoms in length. Isoparaffin, cycloparaffin, and naphtheno-aromatic hydrocarbons are also found in paraffin. Solid paraffin, which melts between 45° and 70°C, is primarily obtained from oily distillates of paraffin-base petroleum. In this process, the crude mixture of paraffin and oil is dewaxed by crystallization. Paraffin is also extracted from petroleum fractions through the selective adsorption of straight-chain alkanes by zeolites. Liquid paraffin, which boils off between 180° and 360°C, is obtained during the urea dewaxing of certain petroleum products. Commercial paraffin undergoes preliminary adsorbent processing and is then purified by other methods.

Because of its chemical neutrality and various other properties, paraffin is widely used in the food industry, in medicine, in the manufacture of cosmetics and perfumes, and as an insulating material in electrical engineering. It also serves as a raw material for the petrochemical industry in the manufacture of such substances as higher fatty acids, higher alcohols, and detergents. Several brands of paraffin are currently available, including fully refined paraffin, semirefined paraffin, and medicinal paraffin.


Pereverzev, A. N., N. F. Bogdanov, and lu. N. Roshchin.
Proizvodstvo parafinov. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(less commonly), paraffine
1. a liquid mixture consisting mainly of alkane hydrocarbons with boiling points in the range 150°--300°C, used as an aircraft fuel, in domestic heaters, and as a solvent
2. another name for alkane
3. See paraffin wax
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The extraction of PB can be quantitatively analyzed using the weight loss of fiber and compared to that of paraffin oil.
The company's ParaFlow paraffin control products, which it said are available for the first time on a large scale to oilfield service companies, are designed to increase flow assurance of crude oil production and reduce downtime due to wax deposition.
The sediment of specimens was inoculated on Sabouraud dextrose agar, Sabouraud dextrose agar (Merck, Germany) with cycloheximide (Sigma-Aldrich, USA), paraffin agar (0.05 g FeS[O.sub.4], 0.05 g MgS[O.sub.4]x7[H.sub.2]O, 1 g [K.sub.2]HP[O.sub.4], 5 g N[H.sub.4]Cl, 0.05 g ZnS[O.sub.4], 1 g N[H.sub.4]N[O.sub.3], 0.05 g MnS[O.sub.4], 3 g K[H.sub.2]P[O.sub.4], 17 g Bacto Agar and 1 liter distilled water) and McClung's carbon-free broth tube (0.5 g MgS[O.sub.4]x7H, 2 mg ZnS[O.sub.4], 10 mg Fe[Cl.sub.3], 8 mg Mn[Cl.sub.2] x 4[H.sub.2]O, 0.8 g [K.sub.2]HP[O.sub.4], 2 g NaN[O.sub.3], 1 liter distilled water, pH 7.2) with placement of a paraffin coated glass rod.
Conclusion: Paraffin wax bath with joint mobilization techniques are more effective than mobilization techniques without paraffin wax bath in the rehabilitation of post traumatic stiff hand.
A 0.5ml of concentrated sputum was added to 4.5ml of Czapek broth in sterile Mac Cartney bottle containing paraffin wax coated slide and then 0.1ml of PANTA plus was added (P-Polymyxin, A-Amphotericin, N-Nalidixic acid, T-Trimethoprim, A-Azlocillin)and incubated at 37[degrees]C for three weeks and checked daily for growth.
He said the evidence suggested Mr Jones, who had a history of alcohol problems, had knocked over the paraffin heater, which caused the caravan to erupt into flames late on February 13.
The firm has Turkish Standards Institute's Quality Certificate, and has the distinction of being the first company in Turkey, who is a local supplier of paraffin cylinders.
Production of the normal paraffin is a significant step along the road of ramping up production from the giant onshore complex, which is based in Ras Laffan Industrial city, 80 kilometres north of capital Doha.
Heated in the sun, the mixture of paraffin wax, which melts at about 37 Celsius, and stearic acid, a fat commonly used to make soap, becomes entirely liquid.
To begin, melt paraffin in a double boiler in a ventilated place where there's no risk of fire.