What is Naptha? (with photos)

Naphtha can be used as a solvent in washing powder.

Naphtha, also called naphtha, is a type of hydrocarbon produced through a distillation process. One of the main sources of naphtha is crude oil, which is processed in refineries to break down hydrocarbon chains. Coal tar can also be processed to produce this hydrocarbon and can be extracted from wood. Naphtha has many uses, including as a solvent in washing powder or cleaning fluid. People have been using this compound for a long time; at least one culture, for example, used it in primitive grenades.


Naphtha is processed in refineries.

There is some irregularity in the way the word “naphtha” is used. Historically, it was generally used to refer to crude oil. Modern usage, however, refers to a matrix of hydrocarbons of different compositions that share some structural similarities. The word – often using the spelling “naphtha” – is often seen in the names of other hydrocarbon compounds, illustrating the fact that it is often a component or base ingredient in the processing and production of hydrocarbons.


This chemical is often classified into one of two categories: aliphatic or “light” and aromatic or “heavy”. Aliphatic compounds contain more than one chemical compound called paraffin. They are sometimes called paraffinic compounds.


Each form of naphtha comes with its own Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that provides specific information about its chemical composition.

A common use of this chemical is as a solvent. Naphtha is a very strong and versatile solvent that can be used in cracking hydrocarbons, laundry soaps, organic chemistry, cleaning fluids and many other applications. Fels-Naptha® is a particularly famous brand of soap that contains this chemical as a solvent. The product is also used in the manufacture of varnish and in the power of stoves and lamps for camping, as well as in the processing of fuels such as gasoline and kerosene.

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Naphtha can cause stomach problems.

Some forms of this chemical can be dangerous. Some forms can cause cancer, and many of them cause skin irritation, stomach upset, and other health problems when people are exposed to them. Naphtha is also unstable and flammable, so it is important that people handle it with care. People who inhale or ingest it should see a doctor as soon as possible, and people who have had skin contact should bathe well to reduce the risk of developing skin irritation.


Many refineries produce various forms of naphtha. Each comes with its own Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that provides specific information about its chemical composition, handling precautions, health hazards and other characteristics. It is important that anyone using this chemical reads this information carefully so that he or she has as much knowledge as possible before using the chemical. The MSDS also contains information on what to do if someone is accidentally exposed to the chemical or if another emergency situation arises.

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