Cambridge IGCSE - Crude Oil & Fractional Distillation

COLORFUL notes on crude oil and fractional distillation.

-Important points highlighted

-Covers uses of fractions/compounds

-Includes definitions

-Explains characteristics of fractions/compounds

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  • Created on: 27-05-12 13:23
Preview of Cambridge IGCSE - Crude Oil & Fractional Distillation

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Crude oil is a fossil fuel and is a mixture of different compounds.
Made from marine plant and animal remains
Buried by layers of sand and mud to prevent it from rotting
o The layers become sedimentary rock
Increase of heat and pressure causes the remains to chemically change
Many compounds in crude oil only contain elements like hydrogen and carbon
Alkanes are found in crude oil
Trapped in rocks on the sea bed
Oil rigs/drilling platforms are used to drill through and collect the oil, which is sent
to an oil tanker or an oil refinery on land
When burned, it produces greenhouse gases
Removing oil from ground and oil slicks are damaging to the environment
Cause of military conflict because of its high value
Distillation: separating two or more fixtures of two different boiling points. The different
temperatures that are aimed for are called FRACTIONS.
Crude oil itself cannot be used for anything--it must be refined in an oil refinery for its
contents (called fractions) to be made useful
Because intermolecular force is stronger than if the molecules were smaller i.e. more
energy is needed to break bonds, hence the higher boiling point.
When the mixture is heated, liquids with a lower boiling point evaporate and vaporize first.
The liquids with a higher boiling point stay liquid (the vapor is separated from the liquid).
1. Oil heated to 450°C and pumped to the bottom of the fractional column, where it
2. Column heats up at the bottom (so it's cooler on top). The vaporized oil rises,
cools and condenses

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Heavy fractions (with a high boiling point) condense near the bottom of the
column and v.v. They are piped off accordingly.…read more


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