Petroleum or rock oil as it literally means is a vital mineral that makes the backbone of our anatomy today. In this model let us understand the very basics of the vast science and technology involved in the extraction of petroleum, the black gold.
What is petroleum?
Petroleum is a dark brown or greenish liquid made up of a complex mixture of several hydrocarbons. Petroleum was formed in nature hundreds of years largely from the photosynthetic microscopic organisms and bacteria.
Algae and plants lived in shallow areas million years ago and mixed with other sediments, after remains of these organisms transformed into the fossil fuel and petroleum under high pressure and high temperature, which is found in underground reservoirs. We use petroleum in our everyday lives and lots of products and industries. But how can we extract it?
Petroleum (crude oil) is a fossil fuel and its extraction process is so expensive. This process includes extracting usable petroleum from the earth’s sub-surface and is made up of gasses, liquid, natural or free gases. Tests, measurements and procedures are needed to find the raw materials. Petroleum extraction is a difficult and complicated process and need various technologies which is done in 3 basic ways:
- Primary extraction, which includes 5-15% of total amount of petroleum in deposit.
- Secondary extraction, which includes 35-45% of total deposit.
- Tertiary extraction, which includes 5-15% total deposit.
Finally, 60% of total amount of petroleum will be available.
Processing of petroleum
The extracted petroleum is processed in refineries to obtain oil, fuel, lubricants other products. Then it would be prepared for various functions without any chemical changes on its structure. Petroleum can undergo on various processes, including:
- Includes in the decomposition of long aliphatic hydrocarbons into shorter chains, and also methane, LPG and unsaturated hydrocarbons are formed in the process. This process can be done by thermal or radiation methods.
- A process applied to light petroleum products obtained from cracking to obtain fuels in presence of hydrogen.
- Which is done to separate petroleum into fractions boiling in various temperatures and in this way, basic fractions such as dry and wet gas, diesel oil and gudron will be obtained.
- The reaction of olefins with isobutene and finally isoparaffins with high weight and octane number will be formed.
- Degradation process is done without oxygen at high temperature to break down oil fractions to pyrolytic gasoline and oils.