What Everyone Ought To Know About Petroleum Refining Process?
Petroleum is a fossil fuel which is formed when large quantities of organic matter are deposited as sediments. Refining is the process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. Hence, the process to transform crude oil, extracted from the earth, into useful products like petrol, LPG, diesel oil, kerosene, etc. is known as Petroleum refining. Petroleum Industry generated enormous revenue of $3.3 trillion in the year 2019. Petroleum Refining is one of the most integral parts of the Petroleum Industry.
The refining process of Petroleum takes place in 3 basic steps:
1. Physical Separation
2. Chemical Catalytic conversion process
3. Thermal Chemical conversion process
It is the most basic and important step in the refining process which includes separating the products based on their physical properties. Physical separation techniques include:
Crude oil distillation or fractionation refers to the separation of products due to difference in boiling point in an atmospheric distillation column. The fractions obtained have a specific range of boiling points and can be classified in order of decreasing volatility into gases, light products, middle products, gas oil, and residue. Before entering into the atmospheric distillation column, heated crude oil is mixed with washing water. This is known as desalting and is done to remove undesirable impurities before distillation. The desalted crude is fed to a vertical distillation column just above the bottom. The heavier products like oil or asphalt residue settle at the bottom while the rest products turn into vapour. At successively higher points on the tower, various other products like lubricating oil, gasoline etc. are obtained after condensation via natural convection at low temperatures.
|*The yields quoted here depend on feed composition and properties. |
In this case, the feed API was 26.3