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Crude Oil

Crude oils are unprocessed oils mined straight from the oil source. Crude oils are such a useful starting point for so many different substances because they contain hydrocarbons. Crayons, plastics, heating oil, jet fuel, kerosene, synthetic fibres and tires are all originally made from crude oils.
Crude oil contains hundreds of different types of hydrocarbons all mixed together. On average, crude oils are made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, sulphur, nitrogen, metals and salts. It is essential to separate the different types of hydrocarbons through a process called fractional distillation to produce anything useful. Fractional distillation is a constructive method for separating a mixture of substances with narrow differences in boiling points, and is the most important step in the refining process of crude oil.
Crude oil consists of a mixture of various substances of near boiling points so thefirst step is to separate these substances through fractional distillation. The crude oil mixture is heated at high temperatures, usually done with high pressure steam at 600 degrees Celsius. In this heat, the mixture boils forming vapour. The vapour enters the fractional distillation column that is filled with trays with many holes or bubble caps in order to allow the vapour to pass through. The trays increase the contact time between the vapour and the liquids in the column. The bubble caps help to slow down the vapours as they rise through the column. As the vapour rises through the trays in the column, it cools. When a substance in the vapour reaches a height where the temperature of the column is equal to that substance’s boiling point, it will condense to form a liquid.Small molecules of hydrocarbons have low boiling points, while larger molecules have higher boiling points. The substance with the lowest boiling point will condense at the highest point in the column; substances with higher boiling points will conden

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