Paraffin is a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules with the general chemical formula CnH2n+2. The word "paraffin" is derived from Latin words "parum" and "affinis," which translate to "lack of affinity." This lack of affinity refers to the relatively low reactivity of paraffin.
The word "paraffin" is used to refer to the paraffin wax found in candles and electrical insulation, as well as the fuel kerosene in some countries. Paraffin is made of long-chain alkanes, which are made up of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. In addition, all the chemical bonds in alkanes are single bonds. The two main industrial sources of alkanes are crude oil and natural gas.