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What is the Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil?
The fractional distillation of crude oil is shown in the picture below.
oil is heated until it
boils and then
are entered into the bottom of the fractionating column.
As the gases go up the column the temperature decreases.
The hydrocarbon gases condense back into liquids
and the fractions are removed from the sides of the column.
The different fractions have different uses.
The smaller the hydrocarbon molecule,
it rises up the column before condensing.
The fractionating column operates continuously.
The temperatures shown are approximate.
A sample of crude oil may be separated in the laboratory by
fractional distillation. The collection vessel is changed
as the temperature rises to collect the different fractions.
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