A low-molecular weight petroleum distillate that is used as a solvent. Petroleum ether is the distillation fraction of gasoline that boils between 35-80C. It evaporates quickly and is highly flammable. Petroleum ether is used as as a solvent, degreaser and cleaning fluid. It evaporates too fast to be an effective paint thinner. The name, petroleum ether, gives incorrect implications since the solvent is composed of aliphatic hydrocarbons and is not chemically an ether. Thus, the name light naphtha and ligroin have both been used as replacements.
Synonyms and Related Terms
petroleum spirits, petroleum benzin; lactol spirits; casinghead gasoline; light naphtha; ligroin; petroleum naphtha