Kerosene is a mixture of hydrocarbons and does not have a single chemical formula. The hydrocarbons in the mixture include compounds with 10 to 16 carbon atoms in both straight chain and branched formations.
Kerosene is a petroleum distillate and includes fractions with boiling points between 150°C and 300°C. It is a fuel for lamps, heating and cooking. It is also a petroleum-based solvent. Kerosene is the primary component of commercial jet fuel, and military jets use a slightly different blend of fuel, but kerosene remains the primary component. The name kerosene is a trademark first used in 1852 and comes from a Greek word meaning "wax."