Petroleum white mineral oil is a colourless and clear oily liquid composed mainly of n-alkanes (typically from 15 to 40-50 carbons) and cyclic paraffins, free from taste and odour.
It is soluble in organic solvents such as ether, chloroform, carbon disulfide, diethyl ether, petroleum ether, gasoline and benzene, insoluble in alcohol and water. It is stable under ordinary conditions. Incompatibile with oxidizers (e.g., nitric acid or concentrated hydrogen peroxide).
PHARMACEUTICALS, MEDICAL TREATMENT
Paraffin oil makes an ideal blending base for pharamaceuticals. It is used on infant diaper rash to ease the inflammation. Similarly, it may alleviate mild eczema. Mineral oil is used as a suspending and lævigating agent in sulphur-based ointments. It is also used in obstetrics to lubricate the birth canal and ease the baby's egress. Mineral oil is taken orally as a lubricative laxative, and is often prescribed to ease the pain of bowel movements for those who suffer from hemorrhoids and constipation.
It makes an ideal blending base for products. It owns excellent performance of infiltration, moistening and softening to skin, so it can be used as emulsifier and wetting agent of cosmetics. It acts as a solubiliser. Paraffin Oil is a common ingredient in can hair-cream, hair oil, face-cream, lipstick, baby oils. It can be used on eyelashes to prevent brittleness and breaking and is to remove creme make-up and temporary tattoos.
Paraffin oil can be used in bakery products, for coatings for eggs and fresh fruit and vegetables. It is occasionally used in the food industry, particularly for candy to produce a glossy effect and to prevent the candy pieces from adhering to each other. It may be added to food products as a substitute for fat. It is used in the manufacturing of Coning Oil.
Because mineral oil prevents water absorption, it is a popular preservative for wooden cutting boards, salad bowls and utensils. It can also be used on cooking utensils or to grease cookware and bakeware to prevent food from sticking.
It is recommended for anti-dust agents.
Mineral oil can be used as a leather conditioner.
Certain mineral oils are used in livestock vaccines, as an adjuvant. It can also be swabbed onto the feet of chickens infected with scaly mites to suffocate the parasites. In beekeeping, food grade mineral oil saturated paper napkins placed in hives are used as a treatment for tracheal and other mites. It is also used along with a cotton swab to remove unshed skin on reptiles such as lizards and snakes.
MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL AND INDUSTRIAL
Mineral oil is used as a non-conductive coolant or thermal fluid in electric. Some examples are in transformers where it is known as transformer oil, and in high voltage switchgear where mineral oil is used as an insulator and as a coolant to disperse switching arcs. Electric space heaters sometimes use mineral oil as a heat transfer oil. It is used as a hydraulic fluid in hydraulic machinery and vehicles. It is also used as a lubricant and a cutting fluid.
Mineral oil is useful as a protective coating or bath for water-sensitive materials. Alkali metals like lithium are often submerged in mineral oil for storage or transportation. Mineral oil is also often used as a coating on metal tools and weapons, knives in particular, as a way to inhibit oxidation.
It can be used as a wood preservative. A light coating of mineral oil, rubbed into well-sanded wood, provides an easy-to-apply and relatively durable finish, without the odor or drying time (or toxicity) of varnish or urethane.
Mineral oil can be used to clean heavier oil stains by diluting and liquefying the other oils, rendering the oils more accessible to detergents. It can be used as a cleaner and solvent for inks in fine art printmaking as well as in oil painting. Mineral oil is also used in some guitar string cleaners.
It is a fuel used by professional firespinners and firebreathers. It is chosen for its high flashpoint and low burning temperature.
- plasticizer in polymers,
- commercial product photography, to simulate water droplets and condensation,
- microbiology, to create an anaerobic environment,
- oil immersion microscopes,
- transparency for applications in screen printing,
- principal fuel in some types of gel-type scented candles,
- effective pesticide, particularly for edible plants.
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