The Crude Oil Processing


In their lives, people repeatedly encounter gasoline — a light yellow liquid with a unique odor — because it is one of the essential components of the fuel industry. Automobile refueling makes it possible to fill the car with gasoline, and then, by running the engine, the organic liquid turns into the energy of movement. However, few people know that gasoline is only one component of multistage crude oil processing. People are used to the idea that oil is a black and non-renewable viscous liquid that comes out under pressure from the Earth’s bowels. With the chemical industry methods, humankind has come to use oil to provide daily energy. This essay will describe in detail the process of multistage processing of crude oil.

Crude Oil Production

It all starts with the discovery of oil reserves in the country. It is well known that oil is an organic, natural resource, which seems to be the product of decomposition of living organisms, existing tens, and hundreds of millions of years ago. When a well is drilled, an upwardly rushing black oily liquid flows under pressure, then the crude oil is collected and transported to refineries.

Oil Refineries

First of all, it should be noted that oil is understood not as a single chemical substance, but as a mixture of organic molecules called hydrocarbons. Different in structure and composition, the compounds form a shiny black substance with a smell of paraffin. Chemical analysis of oil has shown that the taste characteristics of a liquid are characterized by increased acidity, but in general, they are the same as in vegetable oils. Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that the final chemical and organoleptic properties directly depend on the oil grade and the place of extraction.

Understanding that oil is a multicomponent mixture makes refining easier. In particular, crude oil is subjected to rectification treatment in a reasonably high, reaching 90 meters, cylindrical metal column. Crude oil is fed into the rectifying column, where the fraction evaporates under the influence of high temperatures. It is necessary to specify that different chemicals have different boiling temperatures, so, for example, heating the oil mixture to 40°C makes it possible to obtain only light-yellow gasoline, while the remaining fractions will remain in the compound. In other words, the separation is based on the application of different temperatures in order to obtain the vapors of the fraction at their particular boiling point.

As a result of crude oil processing in the industry, five different chemical mixtures are obtained, which are used in specific technical tasks. Thus, gasoline, with its familiar smell and colors, is emitted at the lowest temperatures and used as fuel for cars. The more substantial fraction is called naphtha and is used both in the chemical industry for further processing and in the household needs to remove grease stains and fill lamps. Kerosene, the next fraction, is an oily colorless liquid, which finds application as rocket fuel, aircraft fuel, lighting liquid, and solvent. The next oily liquid, boiling at 300°C, is gasoil. Gasoil is similar in appearance to vegetable oil, but it is used as a component of diesel fuel and as a raw material for producing hydrocarbons. Finally, the dark brown residue from the rectification is called mazut: a solid viscous substance is used as a fuel in steam plants, to produce industrial oils and petroleum jelly.


Summarizing all the above, it should be noted that oil is a mixture of organic substances, which is crucial for modern society. Oil, like its components, is an oily liquid with a smooth surface. Simultaneously, the color of the mixture and the ingredients vary greatly: oil has a dense black color, and the fractions are usually light. The method of crude oil processing is based on heating to different temperatures, at which the unique fractions are separated. The use of oil components, such as gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, gasoil, and mazut, plays a key role in the chemical industry.