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How Oil Refining Works

2015-04-03

 The oil refining process starts with a fractional distillation column. The problem with crude oil is that it contains hundreds of different types of hydrocarbons all mixed together. You have to separate the different types of hydrocarbons to have anything useful. Fortunately there is an easy way to separate things, and this is what oil refining is all about. Different hydrocarbon chain lengths all have progressively higher boiling points, so they can all be separated by distillation. 

This is what happens in an oil refinery - in one part of the process, crude oil is heated and the different chains are pulled out by their vaporization temperatures. Each different chain length has a different property that makes it useful in a different way. To understand the diversity contained in crude oil, and to understand why refining crude oil is so important in our society, that is the important part role of oil refining machine.
 

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