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Encyclopedia > Kerosene lamp
Swiss kerosene lamp. The knob protruding to the right adjusts the wick, and hence the flame size.
Swiss kerosene lamp. The knob protruding to the right adjusts the wick, and hence the flame size.

The kerosene lamp (widely known in Britain as a paraffin lamp) is any type of lighting device which uses kerosene (paraffin) as a fuel. There are two main types of kerosene lamp which work in different ways, the "wick lamp" and the "pressure lamp". Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 302 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1601 × 3174 pixel, file size: 460 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kerosene lamp Metadata This file contains... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 302 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1601 × 3174 pixel, file size: 460 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kerosene lamp Metadata This file contains... Kerosene or kerosine, also called paraffin oil or paraffin in British usage (not to be confused with the waxy solid also called paraffin wax or just paraffin) is a flammable hydrocarbon liquid. ...


The first kerosene lamp was described by al-Razi (Rhazes) in 9th century Baghdad, who referred to it as the "naffatah" in his Kitab al-Asrar (Book of Secrets).[1] A more modern kerosene lamp was later constructed by Polish inventor Ignacy Łukasiewicz in 1853. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Baghdad (Arabic: ) is the capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate. ... Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822 - 1882) was a Polish pharmacist and inventor of the first method of distilling kerosene from seep oil. ...

Contents

Wick lamp

A wick lamp is a simple type of kerosene lamp which works in a similar way to a candle. This type of lamp is also known as an "oil lamp". In a wick lamp there is a small fuel tank at the bottom of the lamp. There is also a wick, usually made of cotton. The lower half of the wick is dipped into and absorbs the kerosene. The top part of the wick extends out of the top of fuel tank and (usually) a wick adjustment mechanism. There are many variations in wick lamp design, the barn (tubular) and Aladdin being the most common. For other uses, see Candle (disambiguation). ... Cotton ready for harvest. ...


When the top part of wick is lit, the kerosene which has been absorbed in the wick burns and produces a yellowy flame. As the kerosene is burnt, capillary action inside the wick draws more kerosene up from the fuel tank to be burnt. Capillary action, capillarity, or capillary motion is the ability of a substance (the standard reference is to a tube in plants but can be seen readily with porous paper) to draw a substance up against gravity. ...


On this type of lamp, the size of the flame can be controlled by adjusting how much of the wick extends out of the top of the fuel tank. This is usually done by means of a small knob that operates a toothed metal disk that bears against the wick like a sprocket wheel known as a cric. If the wick is turned up too high the lamp will produce smoke (unburned carbon soot). This article does not cite its references or sources. ... General Name, symbol, number carbon, C, 6 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 14, 2, p Appearance black (graphite) colorless (diamond) Standard atomic weight 12. ... Soot, also called lampblack, Pigment Black 7, carbon black or black carbon, is a dark powdery deposit of unburned fuel residues, usually composed mainly of amorphous carbon, that accumulates in chimneys, automobile mufflers and other surfaces exposed to smoke—especially from the combustion of carbon-rich organic fuels in the...


The flame is usually protected by some kind of glass screen, shade, or globe. The glass acts to prevent the flame from being blown out, to prevent the flame from being an excessive fire hazard, and also to enhance the thermally-induced draft. The draft carries more air (oxygen) past the flame, helping to produce a brighter light than would be produced by an open flame. Wick lamps can also be quite smelly if they are not burning well. Often this is caused by using improper or contaminated fuel. General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless (gas) very pale blue (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ...


Barn lamp have several design variations. The earliest lanterns used the dead flame design where the flame was fed fresh air from beneath and warm air expelled above. Because this design does not feed air directly, this type of lamp produces only a dim yellow light and is not much brighter than a candle. Most Aladdin style lamps are dead flame.


Tubular lamps were invented in the later part of the 19th century when, in the late 1860's, Dietz lantern designed the hot blast lantern which recirculated a mix of fresh and warm air back to the flame through side tubes thus improving oil burning efficiency. By 1880 the cold blast lantern was designed using a similar circulation system, but with only fresh air to increase the brightness of the flame. Cold blast lanterns are the brightest and most efficient of all wick lamp designs. Except for decorative purposes, emergency lighting, or in remote areas without electricity, kerosene lamps are rarely used today in countries with a developed national grid for electricity and natural gas but were popular before electrical lighting became widespread. In many countries today kerosene lighting and stoves fueled by kerosene are still in regular use today especially as the fuel is relatively cheap. They were first used by Abraham Gesner's Kerosene Gaslight Company in 1850 and replaced the Argand lamp which had been in widespread use for seventy years. Abraham Pineo Gesner, born May 2, 1797 in Cornwallis Township, Nova Scotia, Canada Рdied April 29, 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was a physician and geologist who became one of the primary founders of the petroleum industry . ... The Argand lamp was invented and patented in 1780 by Aim̩ Argand . ...


Mantle lamp

Main article: Gas mantle

A variation on the wick lamp is the mantle lamp, which has a circular wick that burns below a conical mantle made of thorium or other rare earth material that incandesces when heated in a flame. Though it has a mantle, like pressure lamps and lanterns, it is not a pressure lamp. For other uses of mantle see: mantle (disambiguation) An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle, or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright white light when heated by a flame. ... General Name, Symbol, Number thorium, Th, 90 Chemical series Actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 232. ...


A mantle lamp is considerably brighter than a conventional wick lamp, and often a lamp shade is desirable. They also consume much more fuel than other lamps and produce massive amounts of heat. A few operating mantle lamps can function to heat small buildings in cold weather.


Mantle lamps, because of the higher temperature at which they operate, do not produce much of an odor except when they are first ignited or extinguished. Like conventional wick lamps, they can be adjusted for brightness, and can also be adjusted too high, which will cause the lamp chimney and the mantle to soot up.


If a too-high adjusted lamp is caught quickly, it can simply be adjusted down and the small amount of soot on the mantle will soon be burned off. If it is not caught quickly enough, a "runaway lamp" condition can result.


A runaway lamp condition, with flames coming out of the top of the chimney can be dangerous and difficult to extinguish by blowing out in the normal fashion. Runaway lamp condition should be avoided if at all possible as it can crack the expensive (and fragile) Pyrex® glass chimney, irreversibly soot up the mantle, and release large amounts of soot into the room. The best way to extinguish a runaway lamp is by covering the top with a non-flammable object such as an empty steel can. // For the programming language, see Pyrex (programming language). ...


Once the runaway lamp has been extinguished and allowed to cool, the chimney can be cleaned with soap and water. A badly sooted up chimney may require the use of lye or oven cleaner. The mantle, if still intact, can often be salvaged by removing it from the burner and heating it in the flame of a blow-torch, propane torch, or a gas stove burner. This can be a difficult procedure and may result in breaking the mantle. As mantles are expensive, it is worth the effort to try, however.


Mantle lamps are still made by the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company in the United States.


Pressure lamp

Tilley Lamp TL10 from 1922-1946
Tilley Lamp TL10 from 1922-1946

This type of lamp is far more sophisticated than a wick lamp and produces a much brighter light, although they can be quite complicated and fiddly to use. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


This type of lamp is commonly known in the UK as a "Tilley lamp" after a manufacturer of the same name. Tilley Lamp TL10 from 1922-1946 The Tilley Lamp derives from John Tilley’s invention of the hydro-pneumatic blowpipe in 1813. ...

A kerosene blowlamp displaying the various aspects of the kerosene burner
A kerosene blowlamp displaying the various aspects of the kerosene burner

A pressure lamp has a fuel tank at the bottom with a small pump to pressurise the kerosene. There is a narrow gap up to the top of the lamp called a flue, and at the top of the lamp there is a burner (gas outlet). Directly underneath the burner is the mantle, a fabric bag coated with chemicals which incandesce (glow brightly) when heated by the gas flame. Kerosene-burning Blowtorch. ... For other uses of mantle see: mantle (disambiguation) An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle, or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright white light when heated by a flame. ...


To work a pressure lamp the kerosene needs to be heated to the point where it is vaporised. This is necessary because vaporised kerosene burns much hotter than liquid kerosene.


The kerosene burner has to be heated by means of a primer, usually methylated spirit, which is burnt in a small tray underneath the burner to heat it. The kerosene in the tank is then forced into the burner, which is done by pumping up the air pressure in the fuel tank. This causes the kerosene to be forced upwards through the flue. Look up primer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Methylated spirit (Meths or denatured alcohol — but not Rubbing alcohol which is different [1]) is ethanol which has been rendered toxic or otherwise undrinkable, and in some cases dyed. ...


After the primer has stopped burning, the flames from the primer should have got the burner hot enough to vaporise the kerosene. When a valve is opened the pressurised kerosene is forced into the hot burner where it is vaporised. This kerosene vapour is then directed downwards into the mantle where it burns hot enough to make the mantle glow and produce a bright white light. The heat from the burning vapour in turn vaporises the liquid kerosene which is being forced into the burner.


This type of lamp is popular amongst campers and people who like outdoor activities. Gasoline-burning lamps have also been produced; these do not require any primer liquid. However, both have lost out in popularity in recent years to portable lamps which burn butane or propane gas as these are easier to use, although more expensive to run. In the United States, the Coleman Company is perhaps the most famous producer of all four types of lamps. Gasoline or petrol is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting mostly of hydrocarbons and enhanced with benzene or iso-octane to increase octane ratings, primarily used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... Butane, also called n-butane, is the unbranched alkane with four carbon atoms, CH3CH2CH2CH3. ... Propane is a three-carbon alkane, normally a gas, but compressible to a liquid that is transportable. ... Coleman Company, Inc. ...


There are portable kerosene stoves which work in much the same way as pressure lamps. A small portable stove and its container MSR WindPro with skillet, heat reflector, wind shield and isobutane/propane canister A portable stove is a stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, as for camping. ...


Fuels

Kerosene lamp
Kerosene lamp

Pure paraffin oil is marketed as the cleanest burning fuel for suitable for wick lamps used indoors. It is often sold in the candle section of many supermarkets. However, due to economies of scale and additional refining necessary this fuel is one of the most expensive. Pure paraffin oil can solidify in environments below room temperature, limiting its suitability for outdoor or emergency use. Some antique lamp enthusiasts do not recommend the use of this oil as the ignition temperature is higher than regular lamp oil or kerosene and may result in damage to the lamp. The flame produced by paraffin oil is not as bright as with other fuels. Although the fuel itself is odorless, poorly designed, maintained or adjusted lamps will still emit noxious fumes. Drug store mineral oil is paraffin oil. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1932 × 2576 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1932 × 2576 pixel, file size: 2. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The increase in output from Q to Q2 causes a decrease in the average cost of each unit from C to C1. ...


Generic lamp oil is also widely available in supermarkets. It is usually less expensive than pure paraffin oil, but costs more than kerosene. Lamp oil burns cleaner and with less odor than kerosene.


1-K Kerosene is more easily available in bulk than lamp oil in most countries and is typically much cheaper. However, kerosene contains more impurities such as sulphur and aromatic hydrocarbons than lamp oil. Kerosene obtained from filling stations is more likely to be contaminated with water than kerosene obtained in prepackaged containers. The odors produced by burning kerosene in wick lamps can be quite objectionable indoors. For the chemical element see: sulfur. ... An aromatic hydrocarbon (abbreviated as AH), or arene is a hydrocarbon, the molecular structure of which incorporates one or more planar sets of six carbon atoms that are connected by delocalised electrons numbering the same as if they consisted of alternating single and double covalent bonds. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ...


Kerosene substitutes certified by manufacturers to meet the technical specifications of 1-K kerosene such as Kleen-Heat™ also work in wick lamps. These products are often sold in hardware stores during the heating season. Hardware stores sell hardware: for instance allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heaters Trash compactors, juice extractor, shower rods and water meters Walkie-talkies, copper wires safety goggles, radial tires BB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiers Picture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shutters Paint removers, window louvers...


Biodiesel Is a clean burning "green" alternative to kerosene. Biodiesel packaged for lamp burning is best purchased to avoid biodiesel / diesel mixtures available at the majority of biodiesel gas pumps. In some countries, filling stations sell biodiesel more cheaply than conventional diesel. ...


Citronella oil can be burned in wick lamps outdoors. However, the lamp may produce some smoke and soot. The residue from burning citronella oil is difficult to remove, so it is not recommended for use in a valued lamp. Citronella oil is one of the important essential oils obtained from different species of Cymbopogon. ...


Sometimes dyes and fragrances are added to fuels which can increase soot deposits on glass globes/chimneys, and reduce wick life. Some manufactures have even created special novelty formulations that will cause the flame to burn a different color.


Emergency Substitutes

Kerosene lamps under ideal conditions should only be operated with kerosene or lamp oil, but alternative fuels may be used in an emergency.


Mineral spirits can be used, but only with great caution. Formulations containing chemicals other than mineral spirits may be highly flammable or explosive. In artist grade odorless mineral spirits, which many oil painters use as a turpentine alternative, all aromatic compounds are removed. ...


Diesel Fuel and home heating oil can be burned in conventional wick lamps/lanterns in an emergency if the lamp is to be used outdoors. Diesel fuels often contain fuel additives that produce toxic by-products when burned in a lamp. Most Diesel fuels have a fairly high sulfur content as well. They also produce more soot than kerosene. #1 Diesel is preferable to #2 diesel in such circumstances. Diesel or diesel fuel (IPA: ; voiced “s” because of its eponym) is a specific fractional distillate of fuel oil (mostly petroleum) that is used as fuel in a diesel engine invented by German engineer Rudolf Diesel. ... Heating oil, or burning oil, also known in the United States as No. ...


Charcoal lighter fluid usually is suitable for wick lamps/lanterns; most brands are kerosene. Be certain however to use only the type intended for starting charcoal briquettes. The lighter fluid intended for cigarette lighters is naphtha, which is highly flammable and dangerous in a wick lamp.


Hazardous Fuels

It is fairly common practice in some countries to burn naphtha (a.k.a. white gas, Coleman stove fuel), or gasoline in kerosene lamps and lanterns. This is extremely dangerous and can result in a flash fire or explosion. Solvents such as benzine, acetone and xylene are also highly dangerous, due to toxicity of their vapors and flash fire hazards. Naphtha (CAS No. ... Gasoline or petrol is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting mostly of hydrocarbons and enhanced with benzene or iso-octane to increase octane ratings, primarily used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... A substance is soluble in a fluid if it dissolves in the fluid. ... Benzine, also known as petroleum ether, is a group of various volatile, highly flammable, liquid hydrocarbon mixtures used chiefly as nonpolar solvents. ... The chemical compound acetone (also known as propanone, dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, propan-2-one and β-ketopropane) is the simplest representative of the ketones. ... The term xylenes refers to a group of 3 benzene derivatives which encompasses ortho-, meta-, and para- isomers of dimethyl benzene. ...


Jet fuel. Commercial jet fuels are basically kerosene with antioxidants, corrosion-inhibitors and anti-static agents added. Like Diesel, commercial Jet-A is relatively safe to use in an emergency, but other grades, particularly military grades, may contain toxic additives and should not be used. Jet fuel is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in jet-engined aircraft. ... An aviation fuel truck. ...


Dangers

Kerosene lamps can cause fires if knocked over. This inspired the invention of the Safe bottle lamp, to avoid this hazard. The Safe bottle lamp, called sudeepa or sudipa for good lamp, is a safer kerosene lamp designed by Wijaya Godakumbura of Sri Lanka. ...


Kerosene smoke can also cause health problems, especially respiratory problems, and especially if used in enclosed spaces. [1] However, most lamp oil sold today is "ultrapure" and not a hazard when used in candles and oil lamps.


See also

Abraham Pineo Gesner, born May 2, 1797 in Cornwallis Township, Nova Scotia, Canada – died April 29, 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was a physician and geologist who became one of the primary founders of the petroleum industry . ... Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz (born March 8, 1822 - January 7, 1882) was the founder of the world petroleum industry. ... A Standard Household Light bulb This page is a list of sources of light. ... The Light Up the World Foundation (LUTW) is a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing lighting to poor people in remote areas who currently rely on kerosene lamps or even wood fires. ...

References

  1. ^ Zayn Bilkadi (University of California, Berkeley), "The Oil Weapons", Saudi Aramco World, January-February 1995, p. 20-27.

Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... Saudi Aramco World is a bi-motnhly magazine published by Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia. ...

External links

  • International Guild of Lamp Researchers
  • Pressure Lamp website
  • Making and Repairing Kerosene Lamps
  • Historic Lamp forum
  • Oil Lamp Basics for Survivalists
  • Information on Dietz Kerosene Lamps and Lanterns

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