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Making crude oil useful
The Greeks were the first people to use crude oil
They made a mixture of oil, sodium nitrate and quicklime
which burst into flames when it hit the water
They used this ` Greek fire ' in their sea battles

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However the true value of crude oil has only been realised
in the last 100 years
Crude oil, coal and natural gas are all fossil fuels
Coal is the remains of dead plants and trees, which died
millions of years ago
They fell into swaps and were covered in mud
Gradually the weight on top forced out all the hydrogen
and oxygen leaving only carbon
Eventually the remaining carbon becomes coal…read more

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Crude oil
Crude oil is the remains of tiny sea plants and animals
which died and fell to the sea bed
Eventually over millions of years, layer upon layer of
sediment covered the remains of the animals and plants
The weight of the sediments subjected the layers of
animals and plant remains to huge pressures
Because there was little oxygen present the remains of
the animals and plants only partly decayed
At high temperature and pressure they formed gas and oil
The sediment slowly changed…read more

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Fossil fuels
Because the fossil fuels take millions of years to form and
require special anaerobic ( no oxygen ) conditions our
supplies will eventually run out so fossil fuels are non
renewable ( will run out and cannot be used again )
Coal, oil and gas are sources of energy because the plants
which photosynthesised millions of years ago trapped the
Sun's energy
Because they rotted without oxygen, that energy remained
When you light a Bunsen burner the heat that comes out
came…read more

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Extracting crude oil
Crude oil has to be drilled out of the ground deep under
the sea or desserts
It then has to be transported to a refinery
The costs of drilling and transporting are extremely high
Drilling on land causes environmental pollution and leakage
from oil tankers are sea has caused death of many sea
birds and animals
Much of the worlds crude oil reserves are in the middle
East which gives these countries political power…read more

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Fractional distillation
Crude oil is a useless mixture of very useful things
It is refined by fractional distillation which splits it into its
useful fractions
Fractional distillation is the process by which a mixture of
liquids are separated by boiling and condensing because each
fraction has a different boiling range
A fractionating column is used :
All the fractions in crude oil are hydrocarbons ­ a
compound that contains hydrogen and carbon only
Most of these are alkenes
Crude oil…read more

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We distilled crude oil substitute into its various fractions
Fraction 1 2 3 4 5 6
Boiling rate Low
Colour Clear
Runniness Runny
Flammability Easy
to light
to light
Smokiness Clean
Crude oil is a mixture of chemicals called hydrocarbons
A hydrocarbon is made of of hydrogen and carbon ONLY…read more

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Supply and demand
In any barrel of oil there are set percentages of each
Fraction Approximate % in Approximate %
crude oil demand
Refinery gas 2 4
Gasoline ( petrol ) 20 27
Kerosene 13 7
Diesel oil 17 24
Fuel oil and 48 38
The demand for petrol is larger than the supply while the
demand for fuel oil is less than the supply
This is not economical and does not make best use of the
The solution is a process…read more

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Cracking is the process where long chain hydrocarbons are split
into smaller ones by using heat and a catalyst. An unsaturated
product is formed
Unsaturated means containing at least one carbon to carbon
double bonds.…read more


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