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Ligroin is the petroleum fraction consisting mostly of C7 and C8 hydrocarbons and boiling in the range 90‒140 ℃ (194–284 °F). The fraction is also called heavy naphtha.[1][2] Ligroin is used as a laboratory solvent. Products under the name ligroin can have boiling ranges as low as 60‒80 ℃ and may be called light naphtha.[3]

IUPAC name
Boiling point 90–140 °C (194–284 °F)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

The name ligroin (or ligroine or ligroïne) appeared as early as 1866.[note 1]


Ligroin is assigned the CAS Registry Number 8032-32-4, which is also applied to many other products, particularly the lower boiling ones, called petroleum spirit, petroleum ether and petroleum benzine.[3]

Use as fuelEdit

Ligroin was used to refuel the world's first production automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, on a long distance journey between Mannheim and Pforzheim. Bertha Benz added ligroin to the vehicle at a pharmacy in Wiesloch, making it the first filling station in history.

The first functional diesel engine could also run on ligroin.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David R. Lide, ed. (2010), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.), CRC Press, pp. 2–56
  2. ^ "Chemistry of Hazardous Materials, Third Edition", Meyer, E., Prentice Hall, 1998, page 458.
  3. ^ a b Alan Phenix (2007), "Generic Hydrocarbon Solvents: a Guide to Nomenclature" (PDF), WAAC Newsletter, 29 (2)
  4. ^ Rudolf Diesel: Die Entstehung des Dieselmotors, Springer, Berlin 1913, ISBN 978-3-642-64940-0. p. 110


  1. ^ The name "ligroin" was coined in the United States:
    • Heppe, G., ed. (1890). Klemens Merck’s Warenlexikon für Handel, Industrie und Gewerbe [Klemens Merck's dictionary of commodities for commerce, industry, and trade] (in German). Leipzig, Germany: G. A. Gloeckner. p. 349. From p. 349: "Ligroine; der in Amerika erfundene Name für einen der flüchtigeren Teile des rohen Petroleums, … " (Ligroin: the name that was coined in America for one of the more volatile parts of crude petroleum, … )
    Early use in English:
    • (Editorial staff) (24 October 1866). "Polytechnic Association of the American Institute". The American Artisan and Patent Record. 3: 389. From p. 389: "Dr. Van der Weyde then exhibited some samples of the products of distillation of tar, and a safety-lamp for burning the lighter hydro-carbons, which is mainly a reproduction of the "Ligroine" lamp invented and put into the market first by C. Schreiber in Munich (Bavaria), and described in the March number of Dingler's Polytechnic Journal."
    • See also: Van der Weyde, P. H. (7 November 1866). "Uses of refuse acid of petroleum distilleries – oxydability of petroleum". The American Artisan and Patent Record. 4: 6.
    Early use in German:
    • Schafhäutl (1866). "Ueber die neue Li-gro-ine- oder Petroleum-Gaslampe" [On the new ligroin or petroleum gas lamp]. Dinglers Polytechnisches Journal (in German). 179: 472–475. From p. 474: "Das einzige Gefährliche ist die Aufbewahrung des Leuchtstoffes, der sogenannten Li-gro-ine selbst. Diese Naphta oder Li-gro-ine muß, wenn in großen Quantitäten vorhanden, in wohl verschlossenen Gefäßen aufbewahrt werden." (The one danger is the storage of the lamp fuel, the so-called "ligroin" itself. This naphtha or "ligroin" must, if present in large quantities, be stored in well sealed containers.)