Kerosene help needed!

Okay, here’s the thing. I have a chemistry project due tomorrow, a brief (perhaps 2.5 minute long) presentation, in my case the subject is kerosene. This was assigned last Monday, and since that day I have scoured everything I could think of to find information on it. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING could be gleamed in the library except a small blurb in a chemical encyclopedia. Searches on the internet gave only references to a band by that name, people selling kerosene lamps, and sites which seemed good but then, mentioning kerosene once, began to blather on about jet engines.
What I need is general information on the stuff, and, hopefully, SOME kind of chemical analysis. Structure, formulas, reactions, that kind of thing. Someone suggested the Merck index, but I couldnt find my way around in that thing and succeeded only in getting a nice sized headache from it.

Anyone, any ideas? please? Help…

Kerosene is made in the cracking of crude oil. One of the by-products of making Kerosene is Gasoline (before they had a use for gasoline they used to throw it away). Kerosene is an oil made up of long hydrocarbon chains (gasoline has shorter chains like octane). Oil has longer chains. When crude oil is cracked it is distilled into the various levels. Kerosene is the next lightest oil in the bunch.

I do not have a cite for you, this is just something I had already learned. I am a chemist but I do not work with petroleum products. Perhaps there is a chemical engineer out there that knows more about this.

Good Luck!

This might be of some help… not much, but maybe a starting point…

good luck tomorrow!

Here’s a good backgrounder on hydrocarbons in general:

Specifically, kerosene is a mixture of C[sub]12[/sub]H[sub]26[/sub], C[sub]13[/sub]H[sub]28[/sub], C[sub]14[/sub]H[sub]30[/sub], and C[sub]15[/sub]H[sub]32[/sub]. You can spend the whole presentation time just drawing those on the board. :slight_smile:

A few other links for you to check, and get more background on the whole cracking process, along with some chemical properties:

And a few more links to entries in EB:
History of Kerosene Distillation
Fractional Distillation

The human interest side of kerosene.

The invention of kerosene, which replaced whale oil, greatly facilitated the development of lighthouses.

He was also a native of Nova Scotia, and thus is a Famous Canadian Inventor.

Before the development of modern pesticides, kerosene, rubbed into the hair, was the treatment of choice for head lice (and sometimes still is).

Today, most consumer-purchased kerosene is used in space heaters, either as supplemental heat or the main source of heat.