Kero is sometimes recommended as an old folk remedy for killing head lice, but health agencies warn against this type of kerosene use due to the risk of burns and serious illness.
Kerosene , also spelled kerosine , also called paraffin or paraffin oil , flammable hydrocarbon liquid commonly used as a fuel. Kerosene is typically pale yellow or colourless and has a not-unpleasant characteristic odour. It is obtained from petroleum and is used for burning in kerosene lamps and domestic heaters or furnaces , as a fuel or fuel component for jet engines , and as a solvent for greases and insecticides.
Though its use as an illuminant has greatly diminished, kerosene is still used extensively throughout the world in cooking and space heating and is the primary fuel for modern jet engines. When burned as a domestic fuel, kerosene must produce a flame free of…. Discovered by Canadian physician Abraham Gesner in the late s, kerosene was initially manufactured from coal tar and shale oils. However, following the drilling of the first oil well in Pennsylvania by E.
Drake in , petroleum quickly became the major source of kerosene. Because of its use in lamps, kerosene was the major refinery product for several decades until the advent of the electric lamp reduced its value for lighting.
Production further declined as the rise of the automobile established gasoline as an important petroleum product. Nevertheless, in many parts of the world, kerosene is still a common heating and cooking fuel as well as a fuel for lamps.
Standard commercial jet fuel is essentially a high-quality straight-run kerosene, and many military jet fuels are blends based on kerosene. Chemically, kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons. The chemical composition depends on its source, but it usually consists of about 10 different hydrocarbons, each containing 10 to 16 carbon atoms per molecule. The main constituents are saturated straight-chain and branched-chain paraffins , as well as ring-shaped cycloparaffins also known as naphthenes.
Kerosene is less volatile than gasoline. This property makes kerosene a relatively safe fuel to store and handle. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.
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The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: A barrel holds 45 gallons or litres, equating to approximately 54,, gallons and ,, litres respectively. Our orders rarely exceed a 36,litre tanker. With so much kerosene used worldwide on a daily basis, it would be quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it is the number one fuel.
However, there is a kerosene which is a more viscous paraffin oil which is used as a laxative! Only a complete fuel would eat or drink kerosene purposely! Ingestion of kerosene is harmful and can be fatal. Kero is sometimes recommended as an old folk remedy for killing head lice, but health agencies warn against this type of kerosene use due to the risk of burns and serious illness.
It is effective at killing a large number of insects, notably bed bugs and head lice. It must really bug the mosquitos! Another fact about kerosene which you may not know is that It can be used to clean bicycle and motorcycle chains of old lubricant oil before relubrication.
It works really well and makes the job easy. Kerosene is often used in the entertainment industry for fire performances such as fire breathing, fire juggling and the art of fire dancing. Remember though, kerosene is toxic to humans, so here is some good advice on what fire breathing fuel is the least toxic.
Horses are powerful animals and horsepower is a great way of emphasising the power generated by engines. The power created from this type of fuel mix is incredibly large. One example is the use of kerosene in the lift-off of Saturn V. The take-off for this particular rocket generated roughly million horsepower. Imagine that in your car!
A car that gets 30 miles to the gallon could drive around the world around times with the amount of kerosene fuel the Saturn V used for the lunar landing mission. Even the Amish, who generally avoid the use of electricity, rely on kerosene for lighting at night.