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petrolatum(pĕtrəlā`təm), colorless to yellowish-white hydrocarbon mixture obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum. In its jellylike semisolid form (known as petroleum jelly and also by several trade names) it is used in preparing medicinal ointments and for lubrication. As a nearly colorless, highly refined liquid known as liquid petrolatum, liquid paraffin, or mineral oil, it is used as a lubricant, as a laxative, and as a base for nasal sprays.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a mixture of solid paraffin and high-viscosity petroleum oil. Petrolatum is isolated during deparaffination of aviation lubricating oil and is used for the preparation of lubricants, commercial petroleum jelly, and cosmetic ointments.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A smooth, semisolid blend of mineral oil with waxes crystallized from the residual type of petroleum lubricating oil; the wax molecules contain 30-70 carbon atoms and are straight chains with a few branches or naphthene rings; used as a lubricant, as a carrier in polishes and cosmetics, and as a rust preventive.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a translucent gelatinous substance obtained from petroleum; used as a lubricant and in medicine as an ointment base and protective dressing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005