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Synthetic motor oil being poured.
Synthetic motor oil being poured.

An oil is a substance that is in a viscous liquid state ("oily") at ambient temperatures or slightly warmer, and is both hydrophobic, (immiscible with water, lit. water fearing) and lipophilic (miscible with other oils, literally "fat loving"). This general definition includes compound classes with otherwise unrelated chemical structures, properties, and uses, including vegetable oils, petrochemical oils, and volatile essential oils. Oil is a nonpolar substance. A typical container of motor oil, with some in a glass. ... Petro redirects here. ... Look up oil in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Water and steam are two different forms of the same chemical substance A chemical substance is a material with a definite chemical composition. ... For other uses, see Viscosity (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Liquid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Room temperature (disambiguation). ... In chemistry, hydrophobic or lipophilic species, or hydrophobes, tend to be electrically neutral and nonpolar, and thus prefer other neutral and nonpolar solvents or molecular environments. ... The chemistry term miscible refers to the property of various liquids that allows them to be mixed together. ... This article is about the properties of water. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Chemical structure refers to the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule and the chemical bonds that hold the atoms together. ... The phrase chemical property is context-dependent, but generally refers to a materials quality which becomes evident during a chemical reaction; this is, which can only be established by changing a substances chemical identity. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with cooking oil. ... Petrochemistry is the branch of chemistry that studies the transformation of crude oil (petroleum) and natural gas into usefull products and raw materials. ... An essential oil is any concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants, which are called aromatic herbs or aromatic plants. ... In chemistry, a nonpolar compound is one that does not have concentrations of positive or negative electric charge. ...



Oil is a non-scientific term used to refer to certain diverse and unrelated compounds sharing the same physical properties (such as viscosity and a hydrophobic nature), while ignoring related compounds. The compounds found in cooking oil are chemically very similar, almost identical, to those found in butter and very different from those found in diesel fuel, but while diesel is an oil, butter is not. Indeed diesel is once again very similar to natural gas, but gas is certainly not oil. This disparity stems partly from the fact that oils must be liquid at room temperature, and thus only certain liquid chemicals in many unrelated families are recognised, collectively, as 'oil'. Scientists, instead of using the term 'oil', adopt the terms lipids and other terms to denote them instead. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with vegetable oil. ... Figure 1: Basic lipid structure. ...

Types of oils

Mineral oil

All oils, with their high carbon and hydrogen content, can be traced back to organic sources or space. [1][2] Mineral oils, found in porous rocks underground, are no exception, as they were originally the organic material, such as dead plankton, accumulated on the seafloor in geologically ancient times. Through various geochemical processes this material was converted to mineral oil, or petroleum, and its components, such as kerosene, paraffin waxes, gasoline, diesel and such. These are classified as mineral oils as they do not have an organic origin on human timescales, and are instead derived from underground geologic locations, ranging from rocks, to underground traps, to sands. The field of geochemistry involves study of the chemical composition of the Earth and other planets, chemical processes and reactions that govern the composition of rocks and soils, and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earths chemical components in time and space, and their interaction with... Petro redirects here. ... For other uses, see Kerosene (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Paraffin (disambiguation). ... Petrol redirects here. ... This article is about the fuel. ...

Other oily substances can also be found in the environment, the most well-known being asphalt, occurring naturally underground or, where there are leaks, in tar pits . The term asphalt is often used as an abbreviation for asphalt concrete. ... A tar pit, or more properly asphalt pit, is a geological occurrence where subterranean asphalt leaks to the surface, creating a large puddle (or pit) of asphalt. ...

Petroleum and other mineral oils, (specifically labelled as petrochemicals), have become such a crucial resource to human civilization in modern times they are often referred to by the ubiquitous term of 'oil' itself. Petro redirects here. ... A petrochemical is any chemical derived from fossil fuel. ...

Organic oils

Oils are also produced by plants, animals and other organisms through organic processes, and these oils are remarkable in their diversity. Oil is a somewhat vague term to use chemically, and the scientific term for oils, fats, waxes, cholesterol and other oily substances found in living things and their secretions, is lipids. Organic chemistry is a specific discipline within chemistry which involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen, which may contain any number of other elements, including nitrogen, oxygen, the halogens as... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... candle wax This page is about the substance. ... Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol). ... Some common lipids. ...

Lipids, ranging from waxes to steroids, are somewhat hard to characterize, and are united in a group almost solely based on the fact that they all repel, or refuse to dissolve, in water, and are however comfortably miscible in other liquid lipids. They also have a high carbon and hydrogen content, and are considerably lacking in oxygen compared to other organic compounds and minerals. In chemistry and biology, Steroids are a type of lipid, characterized by a carbon skeleton with four fused rings. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... The chemistry term miscible refers to the property of various liquids that allows them to be mixed together. ... Figure 1: Basic lipid structure. ... For other uses, see Carbon (disambiguation). ... This article is about the chemistry of hydrogen. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ...


Food oils

Many edible vegetable and animal oils, and also fats, are used for various in cooking and food preparation. In particular, many foods are fried in oil much hotter than boiling water. Oils are also used for flavoring and for modifying the texture of foods e.g Stir Fry. For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with vegetable oil. ... Plantains frying in vegetable oil. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Stir frying (爆 bào) in a wok Stir frying is an English umbrella term used to describe two fast Chinese cooking techniques: chǎo (炒) and bào (爆). The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat in...

Health advantages are claimed for a number of specific oils such as omega 3 oils (fish oil, flaxseed oil, etc) and evening primrose oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish tissues, and in vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil. ... Fish Oil is oil derived from fishes. ... Linseed oil is a yellowish drying oil derived from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum, Linaceae). ... Species Oenothera biennis Oenothera fruticosa Oenothera speciosa et al Oenothera is a genus of about 125 species of annual, biennial and perennial herbs. ...

Trans fats, often produced by hydrogenating vegetable oils, are known to be harmful to health. A trans fatty acid (commonly shortened to trans fat) is an unsaturated fatty acid molecule that contains a trans double bond between carbon atoms, which makes the molecule less kinked compared to cis fat. Research suggests a correlation between diets high in trans fats and diseases like atherosclerosis and coronary... Hydrogenation is a class of chemical reactions which result an addition of hydrogen (H2) usually to unsaturated organic compounds. ...


Almost all oils burn in air generating heat, which can be used directly, or converted into other forms of energy by various means, for example, heating water into steam which is funneled into a turbine which turns a huge magnet. This spins and generates electricity. Oils are used as fuels for heating, lighting (e.g. kerosene lamp), powering combustion engines, and other purposes. Oils used for this purpose nowadays are usually derived from petroleum, (fuel oil, diesel oil, petrol (gasoline), etc), though biological oils such as biodiesel are gaining market share. This article is about the chemical reaction combustion. ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Heat (disambiguation) In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is energy transferred from one body or system to another due to a difference in temperature. ... For other uses, see Fuel (disambiguation). ... HVAC may also stand for High-voltage alternating current HVAC is an initialism that stands for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. This is sometimes referred to as climate control. ... Swiss kerosene lamp. ... This article is about the chemical reaction combustion. ... Petro redirects here. ... -1... Diesel fuel is a specific distillate fraction of fuel oil that is used in a diesel engine invented by German engineer Rudolf Diesel, and perfected by Charles F. Kettering. ... Gasoline, as it is known in North America, or petrol, in many Commonwealth countries (sometimes also called motor spirit) is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... This article is about transesterified lipids. ...

Heat transport

Many oils have higher boiling points than water and are electrical insulators, making them useful for liquid cooling systems, especially where electricity is used. Italic text This article is about the boiling point of liquids. ... Insulators are materials which prevent the flow of heat (thermal insulators) or electric charge (electrical insulators). ... Many components in a computer system unit produce large amout of heat during operation, including, but not limited to: the CPU, chipset, graphics card, and hard drives. ...


Due to their non-polarity, oils do not easily adhere to other substances. This makes oil useful as lubricant for various engineering purposes. Mineral oils are more suitable than biological oils, which degrade rapidly in most environmental conditions. A lubricant (colloquially, lube) is a substance (often a liquid) introduced between two moving surfaces to reduce the friction and wear between them. ...


Color pigments can be easily suspended in oil, making it suitable as supporting medium for paints. The slow drying process and miscibility of oil facilitates a realistic style. This method has been used since the 15th century. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Mixture. ... View of Delft in oil paint, by Johannes Vermeer. ...


Main article: Petrochemicals

Crude oil can be processed into plastics and other substances. A petrochemical is any chemical derived from fossil fuel. ... Petro redirects here. ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ...

Other Usages

Sulfuric acid has been called oil of vitriol in pre-scientific times, due to its syrupy consistency. Even in modern times, sulfuric acid is sometimes called vitriolic acid, and caustic personalities are called "vitriolic." Sulfuric acid is not a petrochemical, and in modern parlance, is not an oil. Sulfuric acid, (also known as sulphuric acid) H2SO4, is a strong mineral acid. ... Sulfuric acid (British English: sulphuric acid), H2SO4, is a strong mineral acid. ...


Oils have been used throughout history as a fragrant or religious medium. Oil is often seen as a spiritually purifying agent. It is used in religious ceremonies, such as chrism or baptism. Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Chrism (Greek word literally meaning an anointing), also called Myrrh (Myron), Holy Oil, or Consecrated Oil, is a consecrated oil used in the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Old-Catholic churches, and in Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches in... This article is about the Christian religious act of Baptism. ...


  1. ^ http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20080213.html
  2. ^ Chicago Journals - The Astrophysical Journal

See also

  • Emulsifier, allow oils and water to mix
  • Oil pollution
  • Wax, compounds with oil-like properties that are solid at common temperature

An emulsion is a mixture of two immiscible substances. ... Subsequent to an Oil Spill An oil spill is the unintentional release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment as a result of human activity. ... candle wax This page is about the substance. ...

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