White spirit (UK) or mineral spirits (US), also known as mineral turpentine, turpentine substitute, petroleum spirits, solvent naphtha (petroleum), varsol, or Stoddard solvent, is a petroleum-derived clear, transparent liquid which is a common organic solvent used in painting and decorating. In 1924, Atlanta dry cleaner W. J. Stoddard worked with Lloyd E. Jackson of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to develop a less volatile dry cleaning solvent as an alternative to the petroleum solvents in use. Dry cleaners began using the result of their work in 1928 and it soon became the predominant dry cleaning solvent in the United States, until the late 1950s.
It is a mixture of aliphatic and alicyclic C7 to C12 hydrocarbons with a maximum content of 25% of C7 to C12 aromatic hydrocarbons. A typical composition for mineral spirits is greater than 65% C10 or higher hydrocarbons, aliphatic solvent hexane, and a maximum benzene content of 0.1% by volume, a kauri-butanol value of 29, an initial boiling point of 145 °C (293 °F) to 174 °C (345 °F), a dry point of approximately 69 °C (156 °F), and a density of 0.79 g/ml.
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