Petroleum

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Petroleum is an oily, thick flammable liquid, a mixture of various solid, liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are molecules that comprise of Hydrogen and Carbon. Petroleum is the general term for "unprocessed" crude oil. It is present beneath the Earth's surface (Lithosphere) and forms when trapped, decomposed dead organisms buried in the sedimentary rock, and are heated under the immense pressure of new sedimentary layers over time (fossil fuel). The heat and pressure distilled the organic material into crude oil and natural gas.

Separation Processes

In order for Petroleum to be extracted for it's functional consumer products, it must first be drilled. Once a site has been selected and the legal issues have been settled. A crew will go about to prepare the land. If the oil is located in shallow water, the rig will be built on ships or barges.

Oil Drilling Preparation
1. The land must be cleared and levelled, roads may be built to optimise access. 2. Drilling is very water intensive, so there must be a source of water nearby. 3. A reserve pit must be dug, to dispose of the rock cuttings and mud.

After the oil has been recovered, It will be taken to an petroleum refinery to finalise the separation processes remaining. A petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant, they are typically large in size, employing hundreds of workers, with extensive piping running throughout and operate 24/7.

In chemistry, a separation process transforms a mixture of substances into two or more distinct products. The oil refining process begins with treating the fractions into mixtures by various methods such as reforming, cracking, alkylation, isomerisation and polymerisation. These new substances are then separated using fractional distillation or solvent extraction. Fractional distillation of petroleum is the process of separating the oil into different materials. Separation by...
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