Chemistry-Products from oil

Products from oil

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Products from oil

Cracking hydrocarbons

  • Hydrocarbon molecules can be broken down by heating them with steam to a very high temperature or by passing their vapours over a hot catalyst
  • Cracking products alkanes and alkenes
  • Alkenes are unsaturated hydrocarbons
  • Alkenes turn bromine water from orange to colourless
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Products from oil

Making polymers from alkenes

  • Plastics are made of polymers
  • Polymers are large molecules made when many small molecules (monomers) join together
  • Alkenes can be useed to make polymers such as poly(ethene) and poly(propene)
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Products from oil

New and useful polymers

  • New polymers are being developed all the time
  • Polymers are designed to have properties that make them specially suited for certain uses
  • We are now recycling more plastics and finding new uses for them
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Products from oil

Plastic waste

  • Non-biodegradable plastics cause unsightly rubbish, can harm wildlife and take up space in landfill sites
  • Biodegradable plastics are decomposed by the action of microorganisms in soil
  • Making plastics with starch granules in their structure helps the microorganisms break down the plastic
  • We can make biodegradable plastics from plant material such as cornstarch
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Products from oil


  • Ethanol can be made by fermenting sugar using enzymes in yeast 
  • Ethanol can also be made by hydration of ethene with a steam in the presence of a catalyst
  • Using ethene to make ethanol needs non-renewable crude oil whereas fermentation uses renewable plant materials
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