• Created by: kim.I
  • Created on: 07-04-15 11:38

crude oil

Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is sepasted by fractional distalation.

In a grating column the crude oil is heated to a gas and then pass though the levels of the grating column until it reaches the level the temperature is it's booiling point.

The different alkanes have different boiling points.

The shorter alkanes have a lower  boiling poin than longer alkanes since they have stonger van der waals forces.



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Short cahain alkanesa are in higer demand than loong achain alkanes because they are used as fuels since they have are voltile and flammable.

Cracking turens long chains alkanes into  short chain alkanes and alkenes, which are used in the production of ploymers.

When cracking the long alkanes is heated and passed through a pourous catalyst and t=it is pushed through the small holes that cause the chain to break.

The long chains are broken randomly and there are many possible out comes.


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Addition polymerisation is the process in which unsaturated alkene molecules monmers add onto each other and become a very long saturated chain, a polymer.

This chain is made up of one type of alkene .

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disposal of polymers

Polymers can be disposed of by landfill, howerver this causes overflowing as polymers are non-biodegrable 

Recycling polymers

Frist th epolymer are sorted into different catagories like PETE and HDPE. Once sorted the polymers are processed. This done by mechanically chopping them into polymer chips that are washed and then sent to manufacturing factory companies and turned into new products


Polymers can be used as fuels and to provise electricity 

Feed stock recycling 

poymers can be broken down into synthesis gas , a mixture of hydo and carbonmonoxide that canbe converted into more useful materials.

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biodegradable polymers

Research is going into polymer that can biodegrade called bio plastics.

These are made from renewable materials such as starch, maize and latic acid.

They are manufactured by non hazardous processes so they are better fot he enviroment.

  • Biodegrable plaastic can break doen by bacterial activity
  • Biobags made from cornstarch are compostable and could replace oil deived plastics in the future
  • Disposable tableware made from sugar can fibre could replace polystyrene
  • Poly(latic acid) can be used for cold dink cups that biodegrade in 180 days.
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