Vaseline Uses


The Vaseline, or Vaseline jelly or petroleum jelly, is a gelatin obtained from oil for refining. It is obtained from the residues of the distillation of oil remaining after total evaporation of oil. It is a type of petroleum product for the first time since Chesebrough Manufacturing but its name has now entered everyday use and often indicates, albeit improperly, petrolatum in general.


The compound was identified in 1859 in Brooklyn, New York, by Robert Chesebrough who took care of systems of substances paraffin plant in drilling. He studied in his laboratory, and after a few months they initially produced some samples and large quantities. He gave the name to the substance of Vaseline, composed by the word German wasser (water) and from the Greek elaion (oil).

In 1872 he patented (US patent 127,568) the industrial process to obtain it; This patent states that the hot vacuum distillation requires less heat compared to that in pressure environment and provides a jelly best quality.

It consists of hydrocarbons saturated compounds usually by at least 25 atoms of carbon . Its detailed formula varies depending on the used oil quality and refinement of the adopted method. The best qualities are called white petrolatum and are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics ; less valuable are called amber petrolatum , yellow petrolatum , petrolatum brown , they are polluted by waste carcinogenic refining as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and are used in the fields of ' industry and lubricants , in particular for the production of petroleum jelly and vaseline .

Petrolatum is a paste wax to semi-transparent color -neutral or white snow for mixtures purest and high quality, yellow amber for less valuable. The Vaseline is a pasty mixture odorless semi-solid hydrocarbons; the melting point is placed just below 37 ° C , the appearance is colorless or yellow opalescent. Not oxidize when exposed to ' air and does not react readily in contact with the chemical agents. It is soluble in chloroform , in benzene , in carbon disulfide , and oil of turpentine . It melts in the ether lukewarm and in' alcohol warm, but when cooling it separates into flakes.

The original process invented by Robert Chesebrough for the petroleum jelly is operated in the careful distillation under vacuum of crude oil (to minimize the effects of the pyrolysis ) and in the subsequent filtering with filters of grained coal heated to over 50 ° C with steam jets . The product exiting the filter is initially colorless and excellent quality; As to the characteristics of the filter and the distillate starts to degrade, then the product obtained takes on a yellowish color and its quality deteriorates. For the filtration is also used the animal charcoal .

In the original patent by Robert Chesebrough indicates numerous applications especially in the field of lubricants. Today the petroleum jelly of best quality is used in the pharmaceutical field for the production of ointments, lip gel, antifungal, products for children and the hygiene in cosmetics for conditioners to hair and lip gloss. It is however not suitable as a special lubricant for condoms , although sometimes has been used for this purpose, since it deteriorates the latex condom. It is used in aviation to release smoke aerobatic aircraft like the Frecce Tricolori.

It is used in creams to shave dedicated to shaving with razors by hand, never with electric ones. It can lubricate the valves in brass. And finally, can, if smeared on the teeth, making them shinier. Being a petroleum derivative, a European regulation of 2004 has, however, considered the petrolatum (or paraffin or Vaseline oil), a potentially carcinogenic substance for the potential presence of carcinogenic impurities. For its lubricating function it can be used in products applied on the private parts.

Unlike the finest fractions (white petrolatum) used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations, the less refined fractions (petrolatum yellow, amber, brown) for industrial applications (lubricants, etc.) Can contain carcinogenic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , and therefore only these industrial villages of European Union has applied the risk phrase R45 with the known N specification of substances that can cause cancer

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