Petroleum Products and Their Uses

Since petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarbons with different molecular weights and boiling points, distillation separates it into different fractions. These yield petrol, which contains hydrocarbons that boil in the 40-200 degrees C range and have from 5 to 11 carbon atoms in their molecules; naphtha, which contains hydrocarbons with a greater number of carbon atoms and boiling points ranging from 120 to 400 degrees C; kerosene, which boils from 150 to 310 degrees C, and gas oil. These are the so-called light oils. When these oil products have been distilled off, there remains a viscous black liquid called residual oil.

Petrol is used as fuel for internal combustion engines; the principal two grades are aviation petrol and motor fuel, which are used for aircraft and motor cars respectively. Aviation petrol boils within the 40-180 degrees C range; motor fuel, within the 50-200 degrees C range. Petrol is also used as a solvent for oils and rubber, to remove greasy stains from fabrics, etc. Kerosene is used as fuel for tractors, jet aircraft, and rockets; in the absence of electricity it is used for lighting. Gas oil serves as fuel for diesel engines.

The additional distillation of residual oil yields various lubricants. These differ in properties (for instance, have a different viscosity) depending upon the hydrocarbons they contain. Accordingly, they are used to lubricate different engines, devices, and mechanisms. Lubricants are thus divided into automobile oil, aircraft oil, diesel lubricating oil, industrial lubricant, etc.

After the lubricants have been distilled off from the residual oil there remains a non-volatile dark mass called oil tar, which is used as a road binder.

Besides being refined into lubricants, residual oil is subjected to chemical processing to produce petrol and is used as a liquid furnace fuel.

From some grades of petroleum it is also possible to prepare a mixture of solid hydrocarbons, which is known as paraffin wax. This is used to make candles, to impregnate paper in order to make it water-proof, and in medicine. There is also a mixture of liquid and solid hydrocarbons that is known as vaseline. Commercial vaseline is used to grease metal goods in order to protect them from corrosion; purified vaseline is used in medicine as a base for ointments.

16. Ответьте на следующие вопросы:

1. What is petroleum? 2. What does the process of distillation yield? 3. What is the boiling point of kerosene? 4. What is called “residual oil”? 5. In what branches of industry is petrol used as fuel? 6. What can you say about the using of kerosene and gas oil? 7. What does the additional distillation of residual oil yield? 8. What kinds of lubricants do you know? 9. What is meant by oil tar? Where is it used?
10. What is known as “paraffin wax”? Where is it used? 11. What can you say about commercial vaseline? 12. What are the main petroleum products?

17. Перескажите текст “Petroleum Products and Their Uses”, используя вопросы упражнения 16.

18. Запомните следующие слова:

refining – переработка

fuel – топливо

lubricating oils – смазочные масла

rubber – каучук

spirits – спирты

Прочтите текст и ответьте на вопросы:

Crude oil contains many different materials. From the crude oil by the process of refining we obtain petrol, paraffin and other products.

Oil and gas are the cheapest fuel. There is a great demand for motor fuel, reactive fuel and different lubricating oils, and this demand increases every year. Besides, oil and gas are the most valuable materials necessary for production of synthetic rubber, spirits, technical oils, synthetic materials, etc.

What does crude oil contain?

By what process do we obtain petrol and paraffin from the crude oil?

What kinds of the cheapest fuel do you know?

What demand increases every year?

What production are oil and gas necessary for?

Запомните следующие слова:

valuable – ценный

fuel – топливо

main – главный

raw material – сырье

hydrogen – водород

carbon black – сажа

chlorine – хлорный

derivatives – производные

Прочтите текст и ответьте на вопрос “What is the use of natural gas?”

Natural gas is valuable not only as a fuel. It is an important chemical raw material for industry. From methane, its main component, it is possible to obtain hydrogen, acetylene, carbon black and various chlorine derivatives.

19. Продолжите диалог:

- What problems will you deal with if you choose the branch of petroleum and gas refining or if you become an expert in synthesis of petrochemicals?

- I suppose, I’ll deal with designing and operating various plants. I’ll work at a research institute or a laboratory. It should be noted that at the plants petroleum and its numerous derivatives and hydrocarbon gases are processed into fuels, gasolines, lubricating oils, greases and many other finished products. They are also processed into raw materials and by – products for the synthesis of petrochemicals …

20. Английский юмор:

Long Formula

The chemistry professor asked his students: “Anyone knows the formula of water?”

“Sure. That’s easy,” said one student.

“What is it?”

“H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.”

“What, what?” reasked the professor.

“H to O,” explained the chemistry expert.


H to O = H2O (игра слов, основанная на одинаковом звучании предлога to и числительного two).

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