MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

172 views

How can crude oil be used as a source of hydrocarbons?

Crude oil is a natural mixture of many different hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons can be separated using a process known as fractional distillation.

The crude oil is heated in a fractioning column allowing the different hydrocarbons to evaporate. The column also has several different condensers at different heights which allow the hydrocarbons to be separated depending on their volatility (how easy it is for them to evaporate) and their density.

Hydrocarbons with the lowest density and smallest molecular size (e.g. propane) condense at the top of the column where it is the coolest. Conversely, the hydrocarbons with the highest density and largest molecular size (e.g. bitumen) condense at the bottom of the column where the temperature is the highest. Not all hydrocarbons will evaporate and condense it is common to have a collection of gases at the top of the column, liquids in the middle of the column and solids at the bottom of the column,

Once the hydrocarbons have been separated they can be used for different purposes. Below are common hydrocarbons that can be obtained through fractional distillation ordered from lowest density to the highest density:

Refinery gases (e.g. propane) – Used as bottled gases for portable stoves and barbeques

Petrol – Used as fuel in cars

Naphtha – Used in many chemical processes

Kerosene – Used as fuel in aircrafts

Diesel – Used as fuel in cars, lorries and busses

Oils – Used as fuel for ships and power stations

Bitumen – Used as a covering for roofs and pavements

Thomas W. GCSE Chemistry tutor, A Level Chemistry tutor, GCSE Biology...

5 months ago

Answered by Thomas, an A Level Chemistry tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

96 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Caroline H.

Degree: Chemistry (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered: Chemistry, Maths+ 1 more

Chemistry
Maths
Biology

“I am a chemistry student at Edinburgh University. Although I have achieved highly I have always had to put in a little more effort than most going through material just that extra time. I am keen to be able to offer others the support ...”

£22 /hr

Jake G.

Degree: Chemistry (Masters) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: Chemistry, Physics+ 1 more

Chemistry
Physics
Geography

“About me: Hi, I’m Jake and I’m a first year undergraduate at the University of Warwick studying Chemistry. As I only finished my A-levels last year, I still have expertise on the A-level syllabus and good exam technique. Due to my col...”

£30 /hr

Beth S.

Degree: Biosciences (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Chemistry, Biology

Chemistry
Biology

“Hi, I'm Beth and I'm a first year undergraduate at Durham University studying Biosciences! I have an interest in all things science and would love to share my passion and understanding with others. I like to think I can take ideas from...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£20 /hr

Thomas W.

Degree: MSci Chemistry (Masters) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered: Chemistry, Science+ 1 more

Chemistry
Science
Biology

“ABOUT ME I am an MSci Chemistry student at the University of Nottingham. I have always  loved science throughout school and I hope that I can help you enjoy and understand it too. At A-Level I studied Chemistry, Physics, Biology and P...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level Chemistry questions

What makes a Transition Metal?

Proton NMR Made Easier

Describe and explain some of the factors that affect polymer properties.

How do I calculate the percentage by mass of a metal within an impure substance?

View A Level Chemistry tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok