Naph"tha(nf"th or np"th), n. [L. naphtha, Gr. na`fqa, fr.Ar. nafth, nifth.] 1. (Chem.) The complex mixture of volatile, liquid, inflammable hydrocarbons, occurring naturally, and usually called crude petroleum, mineral oil, or rock oil. Specifically: That portion of the distillate obtained in the refinement of petroleum which is intermediate between the lighter gasoline and the heavier benzine, and has a specific gravity of about 0.7, -- used as a solvent for varnishes, as a carburetant, illuminant, etc.
(Chem.) One of several volatile inflammable liquids obtained by the distillation of certain carbonaceous materials and resembling the naphtha from petroleum; as,
Boghead naphtha, from Boghead coal (obtained at
crude naphtha, or
light oil, from coal tar;
wood naphtha, from wood, etc.
This term was applied by the earlier chemical writers to a number of volatile, strong smelling, inflammable liquids, chiefly belonging to the ethers, as the sulphate, nitrate, or acetate of ethyl.
Naphtha vitrioli [NL., naphtha of vitriol]
(Old Chem.), common ethyl ether; -- formerly called
sulphuric ether. See Ether.
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