Cracking crude oil

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  • Cracking Crude Oil
    • Long-chain hydrocarbons make thick and gloopy liquids
      • Aren't useful to us
    • The long chains that are made in fractional distillation are turned into smaller ones using cracking
      • So that they're of use to us
    • Cracking produces substances like ethene
      • Which we need for making plastics
    • Cracking is a thermal decomposition reaction
      • Which is breaking molecules down by heating them
    • The long-chain hydrocarbons need to be heated to vapourise them
      • Vapourise = turn them into a gas
      • The vapour is them passed over a powdered catalyst
        • At temperatures around 400°-700°
          • Long-chain molecules split apart on the surface of the specs of catalyst
        • Aluminuim oxide is that catalyst used
    • Most of the products of cracking are alkanes
      • And unsaturated hydrocarbons called alkenes
    • An alternative way of cracking is by mixing the vapour with steam at v high temperatures


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