Petroleum and Its Uses

Name | Nguyen Minh Quan (Anthony) |
Roll Class | 11.5 |
Teacher | Mrs. Pham |
Date | 17/03/2010 |

Words 998

‘Petroleum’ comes from the Greek word Petra, meaning ‘rock’, and the Latin word oleum, meaning ‘oil’. Petrol or ‘gasoline’ as it is called in North America is made from petroleum. Petroleum is the name given to the natural gas and crude oil that are drilled from underground or from under the sea floor. Petroleum can also be found in solid form as asphalt or tar. Most petroleum fuels are made from crude oil, the liquid part of petroleum. The gas part of petroleum, natural gas, has recently become a useful transport fuel, mainly for city buses. Petroleum is from the lithosphere, it was formed millions of years ago. The sticky black crude oil and the natural gas, drilled from under the ground or from under the sea floor, were formed from the bodies of ancient aquatic animals and plants. Crude oil, the liquid part of petroleum is not suitable for use as a fuel. It’s too thick, and it has impurities that would clog up an engine. Before it can be used, crude oil must be refined. Refining means separating the crude oil into useful petroleum fuels and other petroleum products. Crude oil is a mixture of up to 330 different types of compounds called hydrocarbons- chemicals that contain hydrogen and carbon. Different hydrocarbons boil at different temperatures. Separating crude oil into its different hydrocarbons or ‘fractions’, depends on their different boiling temperatures. Petrol is a mixture of more than 200 kinds of hydrocarbons that boil below 1800C. Therefore Fractional Distillation is the best process to refine Petroleum. Fractional distillation is based on the principle that different fractions have different boiling points. As crude oil is heated, each fraction vaporises (turns into a gas or vapour) at its boiling point. As a vaporised fraction’s temperature falls below its boiling point, it condenses (turns into a liquid)
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