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Meaning of asphaltene

as•phal•tene

Pronunciation: (as-fôl'tēn or, esp. Brit., -fal'-), [key]
— n. Chem.
  1. any of the constituents of a bitumen, as asphalt, that are insoluble in pentane, hexane, or naphthalene. Cf. petrolene.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.