Definition for NAPH'THA

NAPH'THA, n. [L. Gr. Ch. Syr. and Ar. from نَفَطَ nafata, to push out, as pustules, to throw out, to boil, to be angry. In Amharic, neft or nepht, from this sense, signifies a gun or musket.]

A volatile limpid bituminous liquid, of a strong peculiar odor, and generally of a light yellow color; but it may be rendered colorless by careful distillation. It is very inflammable, and burns with a white flame, mixed with much smoke. It is insoluble in water, but unites in every proportion with absolute alcohol. Turner. By long keeping it hardens into a substance resembling vegetable resin, and becomes black. Naphtha exsudes from the earth in Persia, and, as is said, in the neighborhood of Babylon. Naphtha may be obtained by the distillation of asphalt from the Dead Sea, and of petroleum from Trinidad. Naphtha consists of carbon and hydrogen, in equal equivalents. Thomson.

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