Kerosene is a common fuel that is used in a number of applications in everyday life. By learning how is kerosene made, you can begin to understand exactly why the chemical is utilized in so many different areas. Here is a brief overview of the fuel and how it has come to such a prominent place in industrialized countries all across the world.
The fuel can be derived from a number of different source materials. Because it is made up of hydrocarbons, it can be derived from both coal and petroleum oil. It was much more prominent before the advent of electricity, when lamps were the primary way that interiors and exteriors were lit during the night hours from dusk to dawn.
The first step in making the fuel is to remove the oil from the Earth. Oil is often relatively deep geologically, which means that professional outfits must use drill to reach the correct rock layer. Rotary drilling pulverizes the nearby rock so that the viscous fluid can be retrieved as easily as possible. Off-shore drilling, the most controversial method, involves a platform in the ocean that lowers the shaft to the bottom of the seabed.
When the drill breaks through to the oil layer, a well will form that pushes the hydrocarbons to the surface. There are a number of ways to collect a large percentage of the oil, but the process is never completely effective. The fluid is then pumped into tanks and sent off to the refinery for further action.
Next, the contaminants are removed from the crude oil. This is an important part of the process, because kerosene can only be made when the dirt and water has been eliminated. Special machines are used to separate the oil from the water. The process may also include a removal of salts, which is know in the industry as desalting.
The oil is then distilled into its fractions and purified so that pure kerosene can be obtained. The purification process will involve a number of chemical reactions that overseen by a quality control team to make sure that everything is progressing according to plan. This might involve either catalytic reforming or catalytic cracking.
At every step of the process, professionals will examine the crude oil to make sure that it is being refined correctly. When it finally becomes kerosene, it will be placed in tanks and stored for use later on. Kerosene is most often used in the present day as a heating element. It is usually also the primary fuel in jet engines. Lubricating oil is one of the byproducts of the manufacturing process, and it is also of value economically.
The fuel is ultimately an important one that is utilized in a wide variety of applications. Having a better appreciation for how it is made is an interesting way to learn about chemistry in general. When you take your next cross-country flight for either business or pleasure, you can be sure that this versatile fuel is getting you to your destination.