making crude oil useful

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  • making crude oil useful
    • fractional distallation
      • Hydrocarbons have different boiling points. They can be solid, liquid or gas at room temperature,
        • small hydrocarbons with only a few carbon atoms have low boiling points and are gases
        • hydrocarbons with between five and 12 carbon atoms are usually liquids
        • large hydrocarbons with many carbon atoms have high boiling points and are solids.
        • Because they have different boiling points, the substances in crude oil can be separated using fractional distillation.
      • The column is hot at the bottom and cool at the top.
      • Substances with high boiling points condense at the bottom and substances with lower boiling points condense on the way to the top.
    • fossil fuels
      • crude oil
        • dead marine organisms
          • gas
      • coal
        • dead plant material
      • gas
      • non renewable
        • took a long time to form and we are using them up faster than they can be renewed
      • finite resources
        • once used up, cannot be replaced
    • problems in extracting crude oil
      • Oil companies can drill down through the impermeable rocks to get it out. They are then able to turn the oil into products that we can use.
      • The oil damages feathers and birds may die. Detergents are often used to help clean up oil slicks, but these in turn may harm wildlife.
      • political problems: oil producing countries can set high prices and cause problems for the future supply of non- oil producing countries
    • distillation
      • used to separate a pure liquid from a mixture of liquids
      • It works when the liquids have different boiling points
      • Distillation is commonly used to separate ethanol (the alcohol in alcoholic drinks) from water
    • cracking
      • Fuels made from oil mixtures containing large hydrocarbon molecules are not efficient
        • They do not flow easily and are difficult to ignite
        • Crude oil often contains too many large hydrocarbon molecules, and not enough small hydrocarbon molecules, to meet demand. This is where cracking comes in.
      • Cracking allows large hydrocarbon molecules to be broken down into smaller alkane and alkene molecules,
        • smaller hydrocarbons are more useful as fuels, such as petrols
        • alkenes are useful, because they are used to make polymers.


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