Can crude oil be made artificially?

Besides ENERGY, crude oil has many benefits in it that cannot be obtained elsewhere.. Like some medicine ingredients. Can crude oil be made artificilly to obtain these ingredients once the world has run out of it? Like by getting vast amounts of plankton and dead plants and decaying organisms and stuff, and keeping them under high heat and pressure? (perhaps soon the electric energy thats provided by nuclear power plants becomes so cheap that providing the pressure and heat will be cheap?)…

8 Responses to “Can crude oil be made artificially?”

  1. rajeev_iit2 Says:

    Formation of crude oil takes place in nature by decompostion of organic matter in vast sedimentary basins and it depends on temeprature , time ,sedimentation rate and sedimentation input to basin. First step of formation of crude oil takes place at 80-100.C in form of KEROGEN. It takes about millions yrs to get converted from simple organic matter chain into crude oil.Kinetics play important role here.Temperature and time which are inversly related along with kinetic factors help in generation of crude oil. we call the zone of oil and gas formation at 120-150.C as OIL WINDOW.

    So just using organic matter and heating in laboratory will not serve purpose . They need time in million yr to break into smaller chains and maturation takes place afterwards.Cost of energy input in form of heat in this case is too high and hence not feasible.

    However recently as source of oil is less explored and demand is increasing , some workers are using OIL SHALE (present at upper layer of coal beds) to form crude oil artificially using chemical and mechanical changes brought in it.OIL SHALE is porous and ahs high percentage of organic matter.They are being used now days in california to get crude oil.

  2. Yoav D Says:

    NO – as crude oil and natural gas are the product of compression and heating of ancient organic materials over geological time. According to this theory, oil is formed from the preserved remains of prehistoric zooplankton and algae which have been settled to the sea bottom in large quantities under anoxic conditions. (Terrestrial plants tend to form coal) Over geological time this organic matter, mixed with mud, is buried under heavy layers of sediment.

  3. Mahal Says:

    Cambridge University once made a very cloudy diamond out of peanut butter.

    The process cost a great deal more than the diamond was worth.

    Crude oil has over 170 chemical components (it varies between grades ranging from light sweet to heavy sulfuric). It would be an extremely expensive process to get it right, and would likely not be cost effective.

    This is the problem with a lot of other natural fuels. We can make them, but in the US, the cost is often north of $5 per gallon and not worth the trouble.

  4. gagutza Says:

    I think this not an yes and no question.

    The advances in biochemistry prove that oil as such is not as previously stated, a result of complex chemical reactions on a duration of eons. Some biochemist call oil a result of chemical reaction very common for the layer of soil above the magma layer.

    i believe that future discoveries will confirm a widely spread theory that oil is a result of leaking of organic matter into this layer and it is thus renewable.

    we may synthesize oil if we can isolate the factors that create this reaction in the future, but as such we do not even poses the technology to environmentally exploit this resource.

    we are quite primitive at the moment, as the use of this resource proves itself this.

  5. Katalex Says:

    No it would not be economically feasable to do this.

    What you propose to do would far outweigh the benefits.

    Better yet, lets all try to conserve, send a message, get out of those fuel guzzling vehicles and drive one that are more environmentally friendly with better gas milage. Walk to the corner store, you’ll be doing yourself and the environment a favor. Little things can make a difference

    Synthetic crude is a common misconception among people who do not work in the industry. It is still a petroleum product, that needs to be refined, however the finished product has been blended with an additive package that makes it usable for the task that it is being marketed for. As an example, there are viscosity modifiers, pour point depressants, anti- foam additives, and a multitude of others. Any of these qualify an oil or petroleum product to be considered synthetic.

  6. bartender1115 Says:

    Creating synthetic crude from tar sand has become economically feasible in the last few decades (Alberta, Venezuela) so who knows what advances in technology will enable us to do?

  7. DrJon Says:

    Yes it can in the lab organic material can be heated (~320C) up in an inert atmosphere with water under pressure (~150 atm) to simulate the natural processes that take millions of years but take only a matter of days in the lab. This is due to simple thermodynamics, thousands of years at 100 C or a few days at 320C give similar products. This technique is used to analyse whether immature rocks if they had been buried more deeply could they of produce crude oil and so it can be used as a tool to search for oil reservoirs.

    It is not economically viable to do it on a large scale since so much energy has to be put into the system.

  8. The Mage (William) Says:

    First, yes there are ways to make crude oil synthetically. It has been done for decades with coal. Methane has actually been modified to produce a synthetic crude oil, and if fact when made is pure, and has none of the contaminants in it like regular crude does, resulting in a much cleaner product.
    Second it should be mentioned that what the world seems to be running out of is not crude oil, but the easy to get crude oil. Contrary to popular belief, the world is awash in hydrocarbons, to a point that is hard to fathom.
    The numbers cited are not only extremely conservative, but are not intended to be used in the way many people do.
    The numbers are actually more for business purposes, and are related only to the amount of oil that companies know for a fact they can extract from locations. The numbers do not include the oil that they probably will obtain, and possibly obtain.
    This in fact has resulted in oil wells often producing 7 times estimates. And oil seems to magically appear when there is an improvement in technology. They knew it was there before, but didn’t count it yet.
    Another problem here is the fact that these numbers only include the easy to get light sweet crude. It does not include oil sands, oil shale, or any other alternate source of oil. And because of technological improvements, they are very economical to produce. Just not as easily and cheaply as light sweet crude.
    There are 2 sources (and there are more) right now that can cover over 200 years worth of world demand.
    We are not running out.