Crude Oil

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  • Crude Oil
    • It's a mixture of different hydrocarbon molecules
      • This is a thick black mixture trapped in some sedimentary rocks. It is called a fossil fuel because it was formed from the remains of marine plants and animals. 
    • Hydrocarbons are compounds that are made of hydrogen and carbon atoms only 
      • The hydrocarbon molecules in crude oil have different numbers of carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms
    • Crude oil will run out one day and it being made much more slowly than we are using it – this means that it is a non-renewable energy resource 
    • Crude oil is a mixture of different compounds which have different boiling points. The mixture is split up into fractions by fractional distillation 
      • Each fraction is also a mixture of different compounds, but many fewer compounds. 
    • The fractions containing hydrocarbons with the shortest molecules have lower boiling points, lower viscosity (they are runnier) and are easier to ignite (set alight) than fractions containing larger molecules. 
    • Each fraction has different uses:
      • Gases are used for heating and cooking
      • Petrol is used as fuel for cars
      • Kerosene is used as aircraft fuel
      • Diesel oil is used for fuel for some cars and trains
      • Fuel oil is used by ships and is burned in some power stations
      • Bitumen is used to make roads and to male some roofs waterproof

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