Gasoline, lamp oils, and lubricating or other mineral or shale oils are refined by contacting the vapor with a hot aqueous solution of salts of zinc, cadmium, or mercury, or mixtures thereof which may contain 0-5-3-0 percent of oxide or hydroxide in solution or suspension. Chlorides, bromides, iodides, sulfates, nitrates, and sulfonates of benzol, toluol, xylol, and petroleum are specified. Washing with a solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide or carbonate of calcium hydroxide may follow. The oil may first be purified by sulfuric acid or other known agent, or afterwards caustic alkali and sulfuric acid. The Specification as open to inspection under Sect. 91 (3) (a) describes also the use of salts of copper, iron, chromium, manganese, aluminum, nickel, or cobalt, with or without their oxides or hydroxides. This subject-matter does not appear in the Specification as accepted.