Ozokerite is a mineral wax or paraffin found deposited in rock fractures in many localities, including the Carpathian Mountains, although the main source of commercial supply is Galicia in northern Spain.
Ozokerite varies in colour from light yellow to dark brown. It is purified by boiling in water, reaching its melting point at at around 72–78° C. The wax that rises to the surface is refined using sulfuric acid and then decolourised with charcoal. Ozokerite is soluble in benzene, carbon disulphide, chloroform, ether, petroleum and turpentine. When distilled in superheated steam, Ozokerite yields a substance similar to Paraffin derived from petroleum, but has a higher melting point. Distillation also produces Ceresine wax, which resembles Petroleum Jelly.
Ozokerite paraffin is used in the manufacture of candles, particularly those used in hot climates because of its relatively high melting point.
Ozokerite is used in shoe and leather polish.
Ozokerite is used in the manufacture of carbon paper.
The hard, black, waxy residue of the distillation process is used as heel-ball to polish the heels and soles of boots. The electrical industry combines the residue with India-rubber for use as an insulator known as Okonite.
In the Personal Care industry, Ozokerite wax is used as a skin ointment and an emollient in personal care products such as extra-soft paper tissues.