There are 3 major steps that are involved in converting crude oil to refined. There are several intermediate processes involved as well.
Chemistry - Refining crude oil
Refining crude oil
Oil purification process
Oil separation process
Crude oil is our primary source of fuels and petrochemicals. Refining
crude oil to separate out and modify useful components of the complex
mixture of 2000 different substances involves three distinct stages:
* - where non-hydrocarbon compounds are removed
* - where the crude oil is separated into fractions containing
hydrocarbons of similar molecular size and boiling temperatures
* - where hydrocarbon molecules are restructured to produce molecules
with particular properties
The separation of crude oil into _fractions_ is the source of fuels such
as petrol, aviation fuel and heating oil as well as the _feedstock_ for the
production of a wide range of other derived petrochemicals. One of the most
important of these derived petrochemicals is_ ethene_.
So important are petrochemicals at the start of the third millennium, that
petroleum may soon become too valuable to use as a source of transport fuel
and will need to be conserved for future petrochemical development.
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