Naphtha is used as a fuel, metal cleaner, solvent for substances such as heavy oil and as a material in the production of lighter fluid and high-octane gas. It is a volatile, colorless and flammable liquid composed of hydrocarbons. Naphtha is also an ingredient found in kerosene and gasoline.
The word "naphtha" is used to describe any of the hazardous liquid hydrocarbons. It can be distilled from coal tar, petroleum or peat. The first use of the word dates back to the 1570s and comes from the Greek "naphtha," meaning "bitumen." Besides being highly volatile, naphtha is a carcinogen and can cause respiratory and skin irritation.