What Is the Chemical Formula for Paraffin Wax?


Quick Answer

The general chemical formula for paraffin wax is CnH2n+2, where "n" has an average value between 20 and 30. Paraffin wax is a type of hydrocarbon known as an "alkane."

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Full Answer

Alkanes are saturated hydrocarbons containing a carbon chain, with each carbon atom bonded to hydrogen atoms. Shorter carbon chains form compounds that are liquid at room temperature, while longer chains produce compounds that are in the solid state.

Paraffin wax is a type of petroleum wax that is naturally derived from decayed organic matter. It is a combination of a long series of hydrocarbons. Generally, paraffin wax is non-toxic in its normal state. However, when it is burned, paraffin wax produces fumes that may result in physical discomfort and nausea.

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