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What is the chemical formula for petroleum jelly?

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Quick Answer

Petroleum jelly is a mixture of several hydrocarbons, the parts of which are not chemically bonded to one another such as in a compound. Some of the ingredients in petroleum jelly are methane (CH4), ethane (C2H5), propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10).

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Full Answer

Petroleum jelly, also called petrolatum, is a non-polar hydrocarbon, meaning it repels water and is water insoluble. The jelly is soluble in dichloromethane, chloroform, benzene, diethyl ether, carbon disulfide and turpentine. The jelly does not oxidize when exposed to air and melts at 37 degrees Celsius. Petroleum jelly is used as a wound and burn sealant, sunscreen, moisturizer, hair pomade, personal lubricant and water repellent.

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