Definition Of Petroleum

Definition Of Petroleum

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface, which is commonly refined into various types of fuels
A fossil fuel from which petrol and diesel are obtained is called “petroleum”

More About Petroleum

  • Petroleum was formed from organisms living in the sea
  • As these organisms died, their bodies settled at the bottom of the sea
  • The bodies got covered with layers of sand and clay
  • Over long period of time, due to absence of air, high temperature and high pressure converted these bodies into petroleum
  • It consists of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds
  • The layer containing petroleum and natural gas is above that of water
  • This is because petroleum and natural gas are lighter than water
  • The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oils and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil
  • Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling
  • It is refined and separated, most easily by boiling point, into a large number of consumer products, from gasoline (petrol) and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals
  • The world’s first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania, USA
  • Later oil was struck at Makum, Assam in India
  • Petroleum is a dark oily liquid with an unpleasant odour
  • Petroleum is a mixture of a very large number of different hydrocarbons; the most commonly found molecules are alkanes (Paraffins), cycloalkanes (naphthenes), aromatic hydrocarbons, or more complicated chemicals like asphaltenes
  • The lower alkanes are used to prepare petrol, diesel fuel, and kerosene and jet fuel
  • The higher alkanes are refined into fuel and lubricating oil
  • It is a mixture of various constituents such as petroleum gas, petrol, diesel, lubricating oil, paraffin wax etc
  • The process of separating various constituents of petroleum is called refining
  • It is carried out in a petroleum refinery
  • Many useful substances are obtained from petroleum and natural gas called “petrochemicals”
  • These substances are used in the manufacture of detergents, fibres, polythene and other man made plastics
  • Hydrogen gas obtained from petroleum gas is used to make fertilizers
  • Due to its great commercial value, petroleum is termed as “black gold”

Uses of various fractions of petroleum:

  • Petroleum gas in liquid form, that is LPG, is used as fuel for home and industry
  • Petrol is used as motor fuel, aviation fuel, and solvent for dry cleaning
  • Kerosene is used for stoves, lamps and jet aircrafts
  • Diesel is used as fuel for heavy motor vehicles and electric generators
  • Lubricating oil is used for lubrication
  • Paraffin wax is used for ointments, candles and Vaseline
  • Bitumen is used for paints and road surfacing