Crude oil makes much of the modern world possible. It is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, formed over millions of years from the remains of plants and animals. In other words, it’s literally a fossil fuel, existing in underground reservoirs and pools, in the gaps between sedimentary rocks, and near the surface in tar sands.
Petroleum products are fuels that are made using crude oil and other hydrocarbons that are contained in natural gas. Here are ten different petroleum products made using crude oil:
Around a half of every barrel of crude oil will be used to create petrol to power cars, making it by far the biggest product derived from crude oil across the world.
Diesel is a mixture of hydrocarbons with boiling points in the range of 150 – 380c, which are obtained from petroleum. It’s one of the principal products currently made using crude oil.
Around 10% of the world’s crude oil currently goes towards creating jet fuel that’s used to power the world’s air travel. As with diesel, it’s a mixture of hydrocarbons with the exact composition varying depending on the petroleum source.
Kerosene is a combustible hydrocarbon widely used in the aviation industry. It has a low-viscosity, and is a clear liquid formed from hydrocarbons. These are obtained from the fractional distillation of petroleum between 150 and 275c.
Paraffin and kerosene are sometimes used interchangeably, but the former is actually a more refined and distilled version of the latter. This makes it more suitable for use at home where it produces less soot when burned.
Heavy fuel oil (HFO) consists of the residual of petroleum sources once the hydrocarbons of higher quality are extracted via processes such as thermal and catalytic cracking. For this reason, HFO is sometimes referred to as residual fuel oil.
LPG, sometimes referred to as propane or butane, is a flammable gas used in cooking equipment, home heating and as fuel for cars. In the UK, it’s frequently used as a home heating source in areas not connected to the mains gas grid.
A feedstock is a raw material that’s used to provide reactants to create an industrial reaction. A petrochemical is a substance that’s made from crude oil using chemical reactions.
Petroleum solvents consist of liquid hydrocarbons that are derived from petroleum and petroleum products. These are used in a range of commercial products, in research and across industries.
Mineral oils are lubricating oils that are refined from naturally occurring crude oil. They are composed of 80–90% petroleum hydrocarbon distillate with 10–20% additives to impart specific properties to the oil.
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