Coal oil

Coal oil
Cannel coal, used to produce coal oil, from the Pennsylvanian of NE Ohio

Coal oil is a term once used for a specific shale oil used for illuminating purposes.[citation needed] Coal oil is obtained from the destructive distillation of cannel coal, mineral wax, and bituminous shale, while kerosene is obtained by the distillation of petroleum. A special type of coal known as cannel coal (classified also as terrestrial type of oil shale) is required to produce it.[citation needed]

Coal oil was first produced in 1850 by James Young on the Union Canal in Scotland. He was the first to patent the process of distilling this cannel coal into kerosene. This industry thrived in Scotland, creating much wealth for Young.

It consists mainly of several hydrocarbons of the alkane series, having from 10 to 16 carbon atoms in each molecule, and having a higher boiling point (175–325°C) than gasoline or the petroleum ethers, and a lower boiling point than the oils. Early belief that kerosene was produced from coal led to kerosene being popularly referred to as "coal oil."[1][2][3] This is a technicality, however, because hydrocarbons of the alkane series, with 10 to 16 carbon atoms, when refined, is the same thing whether taken from coal or petroleum.

Home remedy

Coal oil was once used as an internal and topical home remedy as a general cure-all for myriad ailments, including coughs, flu, cuts, abrasions, and wounds. Internal applications were administered by adding this decidedly toxic petroleum product to sugar cubes, molasses, honey or some other substance to mask the taste, while topical applications were applied adding to bandages or by pouring the coal oil directly on the affected area.[4]

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coal oil — Coal Coal (k[=o]l), n. [AS. col; akin to D. kool, OHG. chol, cholo, G. kohle, Icel. kol, pl., Sw. kol, Dan. kul; cf. Skr. jval to burn. Cf. {Kiln}, {Collier}.] 1. A thoroughly charred, and extinguished or still ignited, fragment from wood or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • coal oil — ☆ coal oil n. 1. kerosene or any other oil obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum 2. crude petroleum 3. unrefined oil, obtained by destructive distillation of coal: used as a lamp fuel …   English World dictionary

  • coal oil — coal′ oil n. 1) ene brit. petroleum obtained by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal 2) ene brit. kerosene • Etymology: 1855–60, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • coal oil — noun a flammable hydrocarbon oil used as fuel in lamps and heaters • Syn: ↑kerosene, ↑kerosine, ↑lamp oil • Hypernyms: ↑fuel, ↑hydrocarbon • Hyponyms: ↑paraffin, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • coal oil — žibalas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Naftos distiliacijos frakcija, verdanti 150–300 °C temperatūroje, tarp benzino ir gazolio. atitikmenys: angl. burning oil; coal oil; domestic kerosine; kerosene; kerosine; lamp oil; paraffin, GB rus.… …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • coal oil — Kerosene Ker o*sene , n. [Gr. ? wax.] An oil used for illuminating purposes, formerly obtained from the distillation of mineral wax, bituminous shale, etc., and hence called also {coal oil}. It is now produced in immense quantities, chiefly by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Coal Oil Point seep field — The Coal Oil Point seep field offshore from Santa Barbara, California is a petroleum seep area of about three square kilometers adjacent to the Ellwood Oil Field, and releases about 40 tons per day of methane and about 19 tons of reactive organic …   Wikipedia

  • Coal oil lamps — Coal Oil LampsCoal oil lamps are lamps that have a mixture of coal and oil in them. The fire can burn on these. These were very usable usable in older times when the power went out. Though they are hard to light and to use …   Wikipedia

  • Coal oil —   Oil that can be obtained by distilling bituminous coal.   California Energy Comission. Dictionary of Energy Terms …   Energy terms

  • coal oil — Older U.S. Use and Canadian. 1. petroleum obtained by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal. 2. kerosene. [1855 60, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

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