Leonetti & Matarazzo

Oil & Gas


Naphtha is a general term as each refinery produces its own naphthas with their own unique initial and final boiling points and other physical and compositional characteristics.

Petroleum naphtha is an intermediate hydrocarbon liquid stream derived from the refining of crude oil with CAS-no 64742-48-9. It is most usually desulfurized and then catalytically reformed, which rearranges or restructures the hydrocarbon molecules in the naphtha as well as breaking some of the molecules into smaller molecules to produce a high-octane component of gasoline (or petrol).

Naphtha is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture and refers to any of several highly volatile, flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons distilled from petroleum, coal tar, shale deposits, peat, tar sands, natural gas condensates and the destructive distillation of wood.

Light naphtha is the fraction boiling between 30 °C and 90 °C and consists of molecules with 5–6 carbon atoms.

Heavy naphtha boils between 90 °C and 200 °C and consists of molecules with 6–12 carbon atoms.

Naphtha is used as fuel, solvents and in making various chemicals. Also called benzine, ligroin, petroleum ether, white gasoline. As a solvent, Naphtha is used to dilute heavy crude oil to reduce its viscosity and enable/facilitate transport; other common diluents include natural-gas condensate, and light crude. However, naphtha is a particularly efficient diluent and can be recycled from diluted heavy crude after transport and processing.

The importance of oil diluents has increased as global production of lighter crude oils has fallen and shifted to exploitation of heavier reserves. Venezuela, which produces some of the thickest crude oil in the world, is a major importer of US naphtha. In 2019, US imposed sanctions that included an embargo on US naphtha sales to Venezuela, significantly hampering Venezuelan oil exports.