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Oils (from Latin oleum , from ancient Greek ἔλαιον ' olive oil ' ) is a collective name for organic liquids that cannot be mixed with water . Oils have a higher viscosity than water.

Groups of oils

Italian olive oil
Fatty oils - general chemical structure (R 1 , R 2 and R 3 are alkyl or alkenyl radicals with mostly an uneven number of carbon atoms): mixtures of fatty acid triglycerides.

Fatty oils

Fatty oils (referred to as sweet oil during sea transport) are fats , i.e. mixtures of fatty acid triglycerides that are liquid at room temperature. The low melting range is mainly caused by a high proportion of unsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids .

Fatty oils can also be used as food grade lubricating oils in the food industry. They are also used as a biodegradable alternative to lubricants made from mineral oil, for example for the lubrication of drive chains or saw chains in the great outdoors.

Essential oils

Essential oils are oily, steam-volatile extracts from plants or parts of plants which, depending on the plant of origin, have a strong characteristic odor. They mostly consist of terpenes (examples: lemon oil , rose oil ).

Mineral oils

Mineral oils are obtained from petroleum or coal and are hydrocarbon compounds . Chemically speaking, most of the compounds in the substance mixtures belong to the alkane group , straight-chain or branched. In addition to alkanes, most crude oils also contain aromatics , and often sulfur-containing organic chemical compounds.

Mineral oils are the starting materials for many compounds in organic chemistry , for example for the production of plastics .

Mineral oils are preferably used as an energy source and converted into fuel (" refined "). They are therefore one of the most important energy sources of our civilization (for example heating oil , diesel oil , heavy oil ). Mineral oils also serve as lubricating oil to avoid direct wear contact between moving surfaces, and as impregnating and separating agents ( white oil ).

Highly volatile substances such as petrol or kerosene , also obtained from petroleum, are not counted among the oils.

So-called " synthetic oils " are also based on petroleum refinates and have a special molecular structure that does not occur in crude oil. Are synthetically produced hydrocarbons added. The assumption that synthetic oils are produced chemically and only contain substances that do not occur in nature is therefore incorrect.

Silicone oils

" Silicone oils " are based on polymers and copolymers made from silicon - oxygen units and organic side chains. Silicone oil is relatively insensitive to oxidation , heat and other influences. It is used as a component of cosmetics, as a defoamer and lubricant. In the chemical laboratory, silicone oil is used as a heat transfer fluid .



Web links

Wiktionary: Oil  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Oil  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. M. Bockisch: Food fats and oils - Handbook of food technology. Eugen Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-8001-5817-5 .