Oil Refining: Basic Methods

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Oil Refining: Basic Methods
Oil Refining: Basic Methods

Video: Oil Refining: Basic Methods

Video: An Overview of the Refining Process 2022, November

Gasoline, oil, kerosene, diesel fuel - all these are oil refined products. In order to have such an end result, different methods are used, each of which has its own pros and cons.

Oil refining: basic methods
Oil refining: basic methods

The crude oil produced is a greenish brown oily liquid that is flammable and toxic. It is stored in huge tanks, from where it is transported to the refinery.

Directly at the refineries, oil is sent to the laboratory for analysis, after which the fuel is divided into types according to their properties and content. Then the oil is purified from impurities, water and salt are removed in order to avoid equipment corrosion, prevent the destruction of chemical catalysts, and improve the quality of the resulting oil products. Then they undergo the main process - physical or chemical.

Direct distillation of oil

This is the physical separation of oil into fractions. In the future, these fractions can be both the final product, for example, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, oil, fuel oil, or they can go through the following stages of processing - this time already chemical ones.

Thermal cracking

Thermal cracking is the splitting of heavy molecules into light ones, converting them into low-boiling hydrocarbons. Thermal cracking, in turn, is vapor-phase and liquid-phase.

Currently, only liquid-phase cracking is used, as a result of which 70 percent of gasoline is obtained from oil and another 30 percent from fuel oil.

Catalytic cracking

This process is more advanced and involves the use of catalysts for recycling.

The yield of gasoline from oil is up to 78 percent, and the quality is much better. Aluminosilicates and catalysts with oxides of copper, manganese, Co, Ni, as well as a platinum catalyst are used as catalysts.


This is a type of catalytic cracking, only the oxides of W, Mo, Pt act as a catalyst. Hydrocracking produces fuel for turbojet engines.

Catalytic reforming

This type of processing is used for heavy gasolines, in which the octane number is increased by reforming, and fuel gas is released.


This process processes the residual crude oil, converting it into gas, which is then used in the chemical industry, and also allows the separation of benzene, toluene, naphthalene and other by-products of oil.

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