Lighter fluid is a commonly used chemical compound found in many devices that are designed to create and sustain fire. Consisting of mostly gaseous hydrocarbons, several chemical combinations make up lighter fluids.
One of the most commonly used forms of lighter fluid is butane (C4H10). Found in outdoor grills, torches and cigarette lighters, it is one of the more common and easily accessible lighter fluids. In its commercial form, n-butane, it is also used as a gasoline additive designed to heighten the fuel's volatility and increase overall engine performance.
An alternative to butane as lighter fluid is a highly flammable hydrocarbon mixture called naphtha, also known as benzene (C6H6). With a sweet odor, it is a liquid chemical compound that is colorless until reaching room temperature, when it turns a shade of light yellow. Ronsonol lighter fluid is one of the more popular brands, and it uses naphtha. It is used both in wick-type lighters as a fuel source and for removing tar, grease, labels and oil stains.
Another popular multiuse lighter fluid is kerosene, also known paraffin, paraffin oil or coal oil. It has several chemical compositions used for fueling lamps, lighting outdoor charcoal grills, burning wood, and is also used as a carrier in insecticide sprays and fuel for jet engines. Kerosene accounts for up to 25 percent of the total volume of the world's crude petroleum and is manufactured using several different distillation methods.
Smarter Starter Fluid
A patent is pending on a natural lighter fluid called Smarter Starter Natural Charcoal Lighter Fluid. Made from natural ingredients, it is mainly used as an alternative to kerosene for cooking with charcoal grills. It leaves no added fuel taste in food like kerosene sometimes does and burns safely and efficiently.
Safety & Proper Use of Lighter Fluid
Lighter fluids can be dangerous and extremely hazardous to your health and the environment. Use of any lighter fluids should always be carried out safely and responsibly. Never swallow lighter fluid and always follow the directions of the manufacturer. If any adverse conditions should arise due to an accident or misuse of lighter fluid, call 9-1-1, poison control or seek immediate medical attention.
Writing for over 10 years, Christopher Delia has written many forms of literature, from articles to novels. With a Bachelor's degree in science for film from Full Sail University he has also become an accomplished filmmaker. He plans to further his education with a Ph.D. in parapsychology.