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Naphtha

Naphtha, a term applied to a number of flammable [in modern usage, "flammable" - Editor] organic liquids occurring naturally, as in petroleum (q.v.), or obtained by the distillation of organic products, as wood naphtha, bone naphtha, etc. Two products are commonly known under the name, i.e. the petroleum and coal naphthas. The first of these consists of the lower boiling portions of the petroleum, with a specific gravity varying from about .65 to .75. By further separation it gives the liquids gasoline, benzine, benzoline (q.v.). Coal naphtha is obtained by the distillation of the coal tar, and is that portion which boils below 200 C. and possesses a specific gravity of from .86 to .90. The yield of naphtha from coal-tar varies with the different kinds, reaching from 5 to 20 per cent. of the tar. Both consist of mixtures of different hydrocarbons, i.e. compounds of carbon and hydrogen. Naphtha finds many applications industrially, being largely used as a solvent for resins, oils, greases, indiarubber, guttapercha, wax, etc. It is also employed in perfumery, and largely as an illuminant, especially for the open flaring naphtha lamps.

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