Between Paraffin and Kerosene top difference

Nov 20, 2023
Paraffin and Kerosene

Paraffin and kerosene are two commonly used hydrocarbon-based substances. which find applications in various industrial and household settings. Although they may seem similar at first glance. Which together with their unique properties make them suitable for various purposes. This article aims to explore the differences between paraffin and kerosene. Highlighting their features, uses, and benefits.

Importance of Paraffin

Paraffin, is a versatile and widely used hydrocarbon compound. which holds significant importance across various industries and applications. It has unique properties, such as its solid state at room temperature and the ability to melt at relatively low temperatures. Hence making it an ideal choice for many purposes.

One of its primary uses is to make candles. Where it acts as the main ingredient in creating a long-lasting, consistent, and visually appealing flame. The inert and stable nature of paraffin finds its way into the medical field as well.

Where it is used in creams, ointments, and medical-grade products for its moisturizing and protective properties. The presence of paraffin is felt in the industrial sector. which plays a role in the formation of wax coatings and lubricants.

The versatility, ease of use, and wide availability of this compound underscores its importance in improving our daily lives. From eco-setting candles to innovative medical applications and industrial solutions.

Importance of Kerosene

Kerosene stands out as an important hydrocarbon product. which has many important applications. which has shaped many aspects of modern life. One of its main roles is in the aviation industry. Where it fuels jet engines and powers air travel around the world.

Connecting people and cultures like never before. Kerosene plays an important role in providing heating and lighting solutions. Especially in areas with limited access to electricity. Provides warmth and light for families and communities.

Its function as a solvent and cleaning agent further expands its significance in industrial processes. Facilitates the production of a wide range of products. The importance of kerosene requires careful consideration of its environmental impact due to its combustion and emission characteristics.

As we continue to use kerosene power for essential applications. Balancing its benefits with sustainable practices becomes essential for a more responsible and environmentally conscious future.

What is Paraffin?

Paraffin refers to a group of hydrocarbon compounds. which is derived from petroleum. which are characterized by their saturated texture and waxy consistency. These compounds are mainly composed of long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. There are no double or triple bonds.

Figure 01: Paraffin

which gives them a stable and inert nature. Paraffin is usually found in solid form at room temperature. And it has a relatively low melting point. It allows an easy transition between solid and liquid state. This property makes it a valuable material in a variety of applications, including candle-making.

where it acts as the main ingredient in creating a continuous and long-lasting flame. Paraffin’s versatility extends to the medical and cosmetic industries. Where it is used in skincare products for its moisturizing properties. So, its use as a lubricant and in industrial processes implies its importance in various sectors.

What is Kerosene?

Kerosene is a flammable hydrocarbon liquid obtained from crude oil by distillation. Recognized for its important role in several essential applications. This versatile fluid consists of a mixture of hydrocarbons. Usually, it is characterized by a relatively high boiling point.

That puts it between lighter liquid fuels like gasoline and heavier fuels like diesel. One of the primary uses of kerosene is aviation fuel. Which is what powers jet engines and enables global air travel. Its importance extends to domestic heating and lighting. Especially in areas where electricity may be scarce or unavailable.

Figure 02: Lamps are lit with kerosene

Kerosene’s functionality as a solvent also finds application in industrial processes. which contribute to the production of various products. So, its combustion releases carbon emissions and pollutants into the atmosphere. which prompts the need for sustainable alternatives and practices to mitigate its environmental impact.

Physical Properties

Here’s a comparison of the physical properties of paraffin and kerosene:


  • Physical State at Room Temperature: Solid
  • Melting Point: Relatively low, typically around 46-68°C (115-154°F)
  • Density: Generally lower than that of water
  • Viscosity: Varies depending on the specific type, but is typically relatively high for a solid at room temperature


  • Physical State at Room Temperature: Liquid
  • Boiling Point: Higher than paraffin, typically around 150-300°C (302-572°F)
  • Density: Generally higher than that of water
  • Viscosity: Lower than that of paraffin and more fluid due to its liquid state

Please note that the physical properties of both paraffin and kerosene are specific types of substances. which may vary based on factors such as grade and chemical composition. This comparison is the physical state between two substances. which provides a general overview of the key differences in melting and boiling points, densities, and viscosities.

Paraffin and Kerosene comparison chart

Aspect Paraffin Kerosene
Chemical Composition Saturated hydrocarbons The mixture of hydrocarbons with a higher boiling point
State at Room Temp. Solid Liquid
Melting Point Relatively low Higher than paraffin
Primary Use Candle making, cosmetics, lubricants Aviation fuel, heating, lighting, solvents
Environmental Impact Generally biodegradable, low pollution Carbon emissions, and air pollution concerns
Common Applications Candles, skin care, industrial uses Aviation, heating, lighting, solvents
Safety Considerations Lower combustion risk Fire hazard and safety precautions needed
Environmental Impact Generally biodegradable, low pollution Carbon emissions, and air pollution concerns
Availability Widely available Essential for specific applications
Price Generally lower cost Can be costlier due to specific uses

Please note that this is a simplified comparison, and there can be more nuanced differences and factors to consider in each category.

Production and Refining Process

Here’s a comparison of the production and refining processes of paraffin and kerosene:


  • Production Source: Paraffin is a component of crude oil, which is extracted from underground reservoirs through drilling.
  • Refining Process: Crude oil is refined through a process called fractional distillation, where it is heated to separate it into different fractions based on boiling points. Paraffin is obtained as a fraction with relatively lower boiling points, along with other components like gasoline and diesel.
  • Purity Levels: The purity of paraffin can vary based on the refining process and additional treatments. For certain applications like candles, further purification might be required.


  • Production Source: Kerosene is also derived from crude oil during the refining process.
  • Refining Process: Similar to paraffin, kerosene is obtained through fractional distillation of crude oil. It is typically obtained from the fraction with a higher boiling point than gasoline but lower than diesel.
  • Grades of Kerosene: Kerosene comes in different grades based on its intended use. Jet fuel-grade kerosene has higher purity and stricter specifications compared to kerosene used for heating or lighting.

The refining process involves heating crude oil to separate it into different components based on their boiling points. Specific refinement techniques and final product quality may vary depending on the intended application. It is important to note that paraffin and kerosene are obtained from similar refining processes. Their subsequent treatment and purification may vary based on their specific use.

Availability and Cost

Here’s a comparison of the availability and cost aspects of paraffin and kerosene:


  • Availability: Paraffin is generally widely available due to its common presence as a component of crude oil. It’s produced as a byproduct during the refining process of crude oil, making it accessible in various regions with oil reserves.
  • Cost: Paraffin tends to be relatively affordable due to its abundance and its status as a byproduct of the crude oil refining process. Prices can vary based on factors such as refining costs, market demand, and specific uses.


  • Availability: Kerosene is also widely available as it is a product derived from the same crude oil refining process. It’s commonly produced to meet the demand for various applications.
  • Cost: The cost of kerosene can vary significantly based on its grade and intended use. Jet fuel-grade kerosene, for example, might be priced higher due to stricter quality requirements, while kerosene used for heating or lighting purposes might have more stable and affordable pricing.

The availability of both paraffin and kerosene is associated with the production of crude oil. which is a globally traded product. Their costs are influenced by the complexity of the refining process, market demand, and oil prices. Influenced by various factors including geopolitical factors and regional supply and demand dynamics.


Although paraffin and kerosene have some similarities as hydrocarbon-based substances, they have different properties. which makes them suitable for various applications. Paraffin finds its use in cosmetics, food preservation, and candle making. Whereas kerosene is primarily used as fuel for lamps, stoves, and engines. Understanding the difference between these two substances is crucial in order to use them safely and effectively in various contexts.