Paraffin vs. Kerosene

By Jaxson

  • Kerosene

    Kerosene, also known as paraffin, lamp oil, and coal oil (an obsolete term), is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid which is derived from petroleum. It is widely used as a fuel in the air industry as well as households. Its name derives from Greek: κηρός (keros) meaning wax, and was registered as a trademark by Canadian geologist and inventor Abraham Gesner in 1854 before evolving into a genericized trademark. It is sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage. The term kerosene is common in much of Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and the United States, while the term paraffin (or a closely related variant) is used in Chile, eastern Africa, South Africa, Norway, and in the United Kingdom. The term lamp oil, or the equivalent in the local languages, is common in the majority of Asia. Liquid paraffin (called mineral oil in the US) is a more viscous and highly refined product which is used as a laxative. Paraffin wax is a waxy solid extracted from petroleum.

    Kerosene is widely used to power jet engines of aircraft (jet fuel) and some rocket engines and is also commonly used as a cooking and lighting fuel, and for fire toys such as poi. In parts of Asia, kerosene is sometimes used as fuel for small outboard motors or even motorcycles. World total kerosene consumption for all purposes is equivalent to about 1.2 million barrels (50 million U.S. gallons; 42 million imperial gallons; 190 million liters) per day.To prevent confusion between kerosene and the much more flammable and volatile gasoline, some jurisdictions regulate markings or colorings for containers used to store or dispense kerosene. For example, in the United States, Pennsylvania requires that portable containers used at retail service stations for kerosene be colored blue, as opposed to red (for gasoline) or yellow (for diesel fuel).

  • Paraffin (noun)

    A petroleum based thin and colorless fuel oil, (kerosene in US English).

  • Paraffin (noun)

    Any member of the alkane hydrocarbons.

  • Paraffin (noun)

    Paraffin wax.

  • Paraffin (verb)

    To impregnate or treat with paraffin.

  • Paraffin (verb)

    To embed in paraffin wax.

  • Kerosene (noun)

    A petroleum-based thin and colorless fuel; paraffin.

    “The kerosene lasted all winter, so the furnace kept us always warm.”


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