The word Kerosene was registered as a trademark by Abraham Gesner in 1854 and for several years only the North American Gas Light Company and the Downer Company (to which Gesner had granted the right) were allowed to call their lamp oil kerosene. It eventually became a genericized trademark. Kerosene is widely used to power jet-engined aircraft (jet fuel) and some rockets, but is also commonly used as a heating fuel and for fire toys such as poi.
The heat of combustion of Kerosene is similar to that of diesel: its lower heating value is around 18,500 Btu/lb, or 43.1 MJ/kg, and its higher heating value is 46.2MJ/kg.
Kerosene is a thin, clear liquid formed from hydrocarbons, with density of 0.78-0.81g/cm3. Kerosene is obtained from the fractional distillation of petroleum between 150 °C and 275 °C, resulting in a mixture of carbon chains that typically contain between 6 and 16 carbon atoms per molecule. The flash point of kerosene is between 37 and 65 °C (100–150 °F) and its autoignition temperature is 220 °C (428 °F). Kerosene is insoluble in water (cold or hot), but miscible in petroleum solvents.