How is oil refined?


  • 1 separation phase (distillation)
  • 2 Chemical refinement (cracking)
  • 3 treatment stage
  • 4 References

Separation stage (distillation)

It is considered the first oil refining process, and the distillation process is carried out by air and vacuum distillation towers, where the crude oil is separated into groups consisting of hydrocarbon molecules, according to their boiling point, and their volatilization property. [1] The initial refining process is carried out by heating the crude oil, then inserting it into the distillation column, and after the temperature of the crude oil rises in the distillation column, the oil itself is divided into different components. [2] These substances are in the form of light gases including olefins, which are highly reactive chemicals, either as feedstocks for refinery development processes that produce high-octane gasoline, or as intermediate materials for petrochemicals. [3]

Chemical polishing (cracking)

The chemical refinement process is the second stage of oil refining , and heavy distillate materials are broken down, among which the most important are: oils, and some precipitates with a lower value, which contributes to the production of heavy distillate materials of high value, and often the goal of the chemical refining process is the production of gasoline and aviation fuel Of heavy gas oil, and is usually used on low-value light materials to produce more gasoline, and it should be noted that the final petroleum products differ from one refinery to another. [2]

Treatment stage

Distillates pass through the treatment stage, in order to get rid of impurities, and those impurities include: organic materials that contain sulfur, nitrogen, water, oxygen, inorganic salts, and dissolved materials, and the treatment stage is carried out by passing the materials through a column of sulfuric acid; to remove Unsaturated hydrocarbons, nitrogen compounds, oxygen compounds, and residual solid materials such as tar and asphalt, after which these substances pass through the absorption column filled with dried materials to remove water, and eventually the materials are transported through sulfur treatment devices to be cooled and then mixed Here together to produce a variety of materials such as: petrol additions or without additives, and lubricants variety of weights, grades, kerosene, diesel, heating oil, chemicals used in plastics and other polymers. [4]

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