Both kerosene and turpentine are useful as paint thinners. Moreover, they are flammable liquids. However, they have different chemical and physical properties depending on their chemical structure.
What is Kerosene?
Kerosene, also named as paraffin, is a combustible hydrocarbon obtained from petroleum oil. We also use some other names like such as lamp oil and coal oil to refer to this compound. Kerosene can be identified as a common fuel in industries as well as in household needs. Furthermore, it exists in a liquid state at room temperature.
Kerosene liquid has a pale yellow colour. But sometimes it appears as a colourless liquid based on the presence or absence of other components or impurities. Kerosene liquid has a characteristic, strong odour. Therefore, we can easily determine the presence of kerosene by smell.
In addition to that, kerosene causes the formation of a lot of soot. This is mainly due to its incomplete combustion. For example, if we use this liquid in a lamp, it may cause the glass to turn into black; thus, it prevents the light from coming through the glass. The reason for this soot production is because it is less refined and less distilled.
What is Turpentine?
Turpentine is a liquid obtained from the distillation of resin harvested from living trees such as pines. This substance is also named as spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine, and turps. Turpentine is mainly useful as a specialized solvent, and it is the source for many organic synthesis reactions.
Turpentine contains terpenes such as monoterpenes (alpha and beta pinene) as the highest content and there are some trace amounts of carene, camphene, dipentene, and terpinolene.
There are many applications of turpentine including the use as a solvent for thinning oil-based paints in producing varnishes, as a raw material for chemical industry such as the synthesis of fragrant chemical compounds, medicinal applications (including the topical uses and as internal home remedies), added to cleaning and sanitary products due to its antiseptic properties, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Kerosene and Turpentine?
- Kerosene and turpentine are important as thinners for paint.
- Both have medicinal applications such as using them as topical substances and internal home remedies.
- Both are flammable liquids.
What is the Difference Between Kerosene and Turpentine?
Both kerosene and turpentine are useful as paint thinners. The key difference between kerosene and turpentine is that kerosene is obtained from crude petroleum, whereas turpentine is obtained from pine resins. Because of this origin, kerosene has a petroleum-like odour while turpentine has a sweet and piney odour.
Moreover, concerning the usage, kerosene is used as a fuel, as a diluent in the PUREX extraction process, as a solvent, as a synthetic hydrocarbon for corrosion experiments, useful in the entertainment industry for fire performances, etc. Meanwhile, turpentine is used as a solvent for thinning oil-based paints in producing varnishes, as a raw material for chemical industry such as the synthesis of fragrant chemical compounds, medicinal applications, etc.
Below is a summary of the difference between kerosene and turpentine in tabular form.
Summary – Kerosene vs Turpentine
Kerosene and turpentine are organic compounds that come from different sources. The key difference between kerosene and turpentine is that kerosene is obtained from crude petroleum, whereas turpentine is obtained from pine resins.
1. “Turpentine.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., Available here.
1. “Kerosene truck Aichi Japan” By Hustvedt – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Kerosene truck Aichi Japan” By Dorothea Lange – available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia