Describe the separation of petroleum into fractions by fractional distillation?

Can you please help me with this, I just need to know it as soon as possible for education purposes. Thank you

One Response to “Describe the separation of petroleum into fractions by fractional distillation?”

  1. Dr^valentine Says:

    (1) Crude oil is a mixture of many different hydrocarbon molecules.
    (2)The various hydrocarbon molecules are separated by refining.
    (3)At a refinery, crude oil is separated into different fractions (=groups of hydrocarbons that have different boiling points). These different boiling points are roughly related to the number of carbon atoms in the hydrocarbon.
    (4)Separation of the hydrocarbons takes place in a fractional distillation column (fractionating tower).
    (5)At the start of the refining process, crude oil is preheated to a temperature of 350 – 400 C and pumped in at the base of the tower.
    (6)As it boils, the vapour passes up the tower and passes through a series of bubble caps and cools as it rises further up the column.
    (7)The different fractions cool and condense at different temperatures and at different heights in the column.
    (8)The fractions condensing at the different levels are collected on trays.
    (9)Each fraction contains a number of different hydrocarbons.
    (10)Fractions from the top of the tower are called light and those from the bottom are heavy.
    (11)The individual single hydrocarbons can then be obtained by further distillation.

    see fractional distillation column at http://www.energyinst.org.uk/education/coryton/images/column.gif