Paraffin wax is a white/colorless, odorless soft solid from a chemical family of alkane hydrocarbons. In its purest and rawest form, paraffin wax is considered a heavy alkane hydrocarbon because it contains between 20 and 40 atoms of carbon and between 42 to 82 atoms of hydrogen. Paraffin wax is said to be originally developed when chemists discovered a way to remove the naturally-occurring waxy substance from petroleum during refining. Paraffin wax is used in a wide variety of industries. The candle industry is likely the largest user of paraffin wax due to the burning properties of this raw material. It’s also used as a carrier for active ingredients in the production of rodent baits, and to coat gun powder and dynamite cartridges to protect them from moisture.
If paraffin wax is combined with ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), it becomes more elastic and adhesive. When paraffin wax is in this state, it can be used to produce products like crayons and hot glue sticks. Crayola crayons are known to contain a lot of paraffin wax. In fact, paraffin wax is made especially for Crayola by companies who extract it from products like wood and coal.
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