Fractional Distillation

  • A summary of fractional distillation
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  • Fractional Distillation
    • Crude oil enters the column as a very hot gas
    • The fractionating column is hottest at the bottom and coolest at the top
    • The parts of the crude oil that condense at different temperatures are called fractions
    • Each fraction is made up of hydrocarbon molecules only with similar numbers of carbon atoms
    • The substances lower down in the fractionating column are hard to ignite, have higher boiling points, are not very volatile and don't flow easily
    • The substances towards the top of the column are easier to ignite, have a lower boiling point, flow easily and are more volatile
    • The main fractions (starting at the top coming down) are: Refinary gas, Gasoline, Naphtha, Kerosene, Diesel Oil, Fuel Oil and finally Residue


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