Fractional Distillation Of Petroleum

Fractional distillation is done in petroleum refineries, chemical plants and natural gas processing plants. It is a continuous steady task, as input and output is a constant process. The fractional industrial distillation is normally done in huge, vertical columns called fractionating towers. They are also called distillation columns. Normally, the heights of these columns range from 6m to 60m.

Inside the distillation tower, there are outlets at different stages to withdraw fractionating products. When the boiling is performed at the bottom, in accordance with the lightness and the heaviness of the input liquid, its vaporization flows and the fractionating condensed products are automated out. The fractional distillation system pushes the lightest product to the top outlet while the heaviest remains in the bottom.

Hydrocarbon molecules of petroleum are a mixture of carbon atoms with numerous sizes and numbers. The miniature molecules consist of a little carbon atom and diminutive boiling points while large molecules have a significant number of carbon atoms and many boiling points. When petroleum is in this condition, it is of no use, as it cannot be ignited easily. It's only after refining, that people can use petroleum and its related products effectively.

The fractional distillation of petroleum is the technique used for separating petroleum into various products. It is done in an oil refinery. Each division, or fraction is fusion of hydrocarbon atoms and it can be boiled with certain points of temperatures. For instance, fraction of kerosene boils when it is boiled at the temperature of 170 - 250 C degrees.

The boiling is done in a furnace. In the furnace, petroleum vaporizes when heated and fractionates to columns in the fractionating tower. In accordance with the boiling points, fractions flow out to columns in different elevations. Since the minimum boiling points is the fraction of petroleum gas, it goes to the top of the column and then condenses. An automated drainage system carries it to a separate storage tank from the top. The condensed fuel comes out next and is stored in another part. The residue bitumen comes out from the lowest part of the furnace, as it is heavier than other petroleum fractions.

When the fractional distillation of petroleum is performed, gasoline comes out from the topmost outlet of the fractionate tower while kerosene comes out from the next. The light gas oils are the next product to come out. Heavy gas oil comes from the lowest outlet while the residue remains in the bottom.

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