Oils are liquids that do not dissolve in water and burn easily. Oils are usually made from long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Do you know facts about Oil that there are three main kinds of oil: essential, fixed and mineral oils. Essential oils are thin, perfumed oils from plants. They are used in flavouring and aromatherapy. Fixed oils are made by plants and animals from fatty acids. They include fish oils and nut and seed oils. Mineral oils come from petroleum formed underground over millions of years from the remains of micro-organisms.
Facts About Oil
- Petroleum, or crude oil, is made mainly of hydrocarbons. These are compounds made only of hydrogen and carbon, such as methane (see oil compounds).
- Hydrocarbons in petroleum are mixed with oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen and other elements.
- Petroleum is separated by distillation into various substances such as aviation fuel, petrol or gasoline and paraffin. As oil is heated in a distillation column, a mixture of gases evaporates. Each gas cools and condenses at different heights to a liquid, or fraction, which is then drawn off.
- Hydrocarbons are compounds made only of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Most oil products are hydrocarbons.
- The simplest hydrocarbon is methane, the main gas in natural gas (and flatulence from cows!).
- Methane molecules are one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
- Alkanes or Paraffins are a family of hydrocarbons in which the number of hydrogen atoms is two more than twice the number of carbon atoms.
- Lighter alkanes are gases such as methane and propane which make good fuels.
- Candles contain a mixture of alkanes.
- Alkenes or olefins are a family of hydrocarbons in which there are twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon atoms.
- The simplest alkene is ethene, also called ethylene (C2 1-1 4) which is used to make polythene and other plastics such as PVC.
- Do you know facts about Oil that Green bananas and tomatoes are often ripened rapidly in ripening rooms filled with ethene.
- Ethene is the basis of many paint strippers.
- Ethene can be used to make ethanol, the alcohol in alcoholic drinks.
- Do you know facts about Oil that Crude oil is considered the “mother of all commodities” because of its use in the manufacturing of numerous products, including gasoline, synthetic fabrics, plastics and pharmaceuticals.
- Approximately 50% of all the oil consumed in the U.S. is for the transportation industry.
- Texas is the leading state in crude oil production with over 5 billion barrels in reserves.
- Crude oil is measured in barrels, which are each equivalent to 42 U.S. gallons.
- Products like fertilizers, plastics, car tires, ammonia, perfumes and even bubble gum are synthesized using petroleum products obtained during the crude oil refining process.
- OPEC countries hold over three-quarters of the world’s proven oil reserves, and that number is rising.
- The U.S. has over 200,000 miles of oil pipelines within its borders.
- Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar oil field contains about 85 billion barrels of oil (the world’s largest).
- Do you know facts about Oil that Oil is created from the decomposition of organic materials under intense heat and pressure over millions of years.
- The largest oil spill in history, the Deep water Horizon oil spill in 2010, spilled 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
- Oil has been used by people for over 5,000 years, once used as a medicine for treating ailments such as gout and frostbite.
- Oil was first successfully drilled in the U.S. in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859.
- Crude oil was first pumped from the ground in Sichuan, China 2,500 years ago.
- Glycerin — a sweet-tasting synthetic ingredient used in toothpaste and other products — is a petrochemical derived from oil.
- Do you know facts about Oil that Oil is used to make common synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, vinyl and acrylic.
- Canada has the third largest amount of reserves of any country, 97% of which are in oil sands.
- The Trans-Alaska Pipeline has shipped over 16 billion barrels of oil since it came online in 1977.
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