Petroleum processing and refining
Speight, James G. Western Research Institute, Laramie, Wyoming.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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- Atmospheric distillation
- Vacuum distillation
- Other distillation processes
- Thermal processes
- Thermal cracking
- Delayed coking
- Fluid coking
- Catalytic cracking
- Reforming processes
- Thermal reforming
- Catalytic reforming
- Isomerization processes
- Alkylation processes
- Polymerization processes
- Solvent processes
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The separation of petroleum into fractions and the treating of these fractions to yield marketable products. Petroleum is a mixture of gaseous, liquid, and solid hydrocarbon compounds that occurs in sedimentary rock deposits throughout the world. In the crude state, petroleum has little value but, when refined (Fig. 1), petroleum provides liquid fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuel), solvents, heating oil, lubricants, and the distillation residuum asphalt, which is used for highway surfaces and roofing materials. See also: Petroleum; Petroleum products
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