Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil PDF -Environmental Chemistry

Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil PDF -Environmental Chemistry

Petroleum is mixture of hydrocarbon molecules. The molecules are of different sizes and have a different number of carbon atoms. The smaller molecules have fewer number of carbon atoms and have lower boiling points, on the contrary the larger molecules have more number of carbon atoms and have higher boiling points. In its raw state petroleum is difficult ignite and is of very little use. Only if the crude petroleum is ‘refined’ appropriate fuels and chemicals can be derived.

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The refining is done by separating all the different fuels and chemicals by fractional distillation in an oil refinery. Fractional distillation involves heating the crude petroleum, so that at different temperatures the different fuels and chemicals will vapourised and be collected in a pure state. The crude petroleum is heated in a furnace and the oil vaporizes and passes up a column and at different heights the different fuels and chemicals are collected. For instance, petroleum gas comes out at the top of the column as its molecules have the lowest boiling point and lubricating oils come out last because their molecules have higher boiling points. The residue left behind after the process is over is bitumen.

Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil PDF -Environmental Chemistry

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