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Petroleum ether

Benzine redirects here. For the Rammstein single, see Benzin. For the aromatic compound, see benzene. For the automobile fuel (called benzine in many countries) see gasoline.

Petroleum ether
Other names Benzine
Naphtha petroleum
CAS number 8032-32-4.
RTECS number OI6180000
Molecular formula Mixture of hydrocarbons
Molar mass 87 to 90 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.625 to 0.660g/cm³, liquid
Melting point

< -73 °C

Boiling point

20 to 75 °C

Solubility in water Insoluble
Main hazards Highly flammable
NFPA 704
R-phrases R12, R38, R51/53,
R62, R65, R67
S-phrases S9, S16, S23, S24,
S33, S62
Flash point -18 °C
Related Compounds
Related compounds naphtha, kerosene
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Petroleum ether, also known as benzine, X4 or Ligroin, is a group of various volatile, highly flammable, liquid hydrocarbon mixtures used chiefly as nonpolar solvents.

Petroleum ether is obtained from petroleum refineries as the portion of the distillate which is intermediate between the lighter naphtha and the heavier kerosene. It has a specific gravity of between 0.6 and 0.8 depending on its composition.

Benzine should not be confused with benzene. Benzine is a mixture of alkanes, e.g., pentane, hexane, and heptane, whereas benzene is a cyclic, aromatic hydrocarbon, C6H6. Likewise, petroleum ether should not be confused with the class of organic compounds called ethers, which contain the -O- functional group.

During the Second World War some extermination camps experimented to kill people with benzine injections.[1]


Ligroin is a refined saturated hydrocarbon petroleum fraction similar to petroleum ether used mainly as a laboratory solvent. It predominantly consists of C7 through C11 in the form of about 55% paraffins, 30% monocycloparaffins, 2% dicycloparaffins and 12% alkylbenzenes. It is nonpolar. Generally laboratory grade ligroin boils at 60 to 90 °C, but the following fractions of petroleum ether are commonly available: 30 to 40 °C, 40 to 60 °C, 60 to 80 °C, 80 to 100 °C and sometimes 100 to 120 °C. The 60 to 80 °C fraction is often used as a replacement for hexane.


  1. ^ The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. Robert Jay Lifton. Retrieved on 1 November, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Petroleum_ether". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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