chemistry

posted by .

why is it possible to use fractional distillation to separate hydrocarbons in petroleum?

Is it because the temperature is high enough to separate them?

  • chemistry -

    petroleum has many different compounds all with different chain lengths so if it is heated the smaller chain length molecules rise and the heavier stay at the bottom due to density differences

  • chemistry -

    Is petroleum crude oil?

  • chemistry -

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/oil-refining1.htm

  • chemistry -

    thanks :)

  • chemistry -

    Your proposed answer is not adequate. The proposed answer by DAS won't get it although petroleum does contain many different hydrocarbons. As their chain length increases, the boiling point also increases; therefore, each of the components boil at a different temperature. In fractional distillation, the mixture is heated at a low temperature until all of the lowest boiling material is carried out of the pot, up the distilling flask to the side arm, and into the condenser where it is returned to the liquid state and drips into a container. Then the temperature of the pot is increased until the next fraction is reached, a separate container is placed at the end of the condenser to catch that fraction, and the process continues until all of the components have been separated. There are a number of variations on the apparatus but density of the materials don't enter into it. The boiling points are the key ingredient. Not every single component can be separated if their boiling points are too close together.Here is a good discussion as well as a picture of the apparatus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_distillation

  • chemistry -

    Ohhh, before I didn't know that petroleum is crude oil, I have a diagram in my textbook, thanks!

Respond to this Question

First Name
School Subject
Your Answer

Similar Questions

  1. Chemistry

    How might one separate a mixture of water and salt?
  2. Chemistry

    Fractional distillation is a technique used to separate complex mixtures of hydrocarbons based on differences in their 1. heats of fusion 2. heats of vaporization 3. melting points 4. boiling points
  3. chemistry

    During fractional distillation, the crude oil is heated at the base of the column until vapour is formed. Say whether the vapour contains more or less than the more volatile hydrocarbons. Then, explain how this process is used to separate …
  4. Organic Chemistry

    Would it be possible to separate hexane (b.p. 68.95 degrees Celsius) from toluene (b.p. 110.6 degrees Celsius) by simple distillation?
  5. Chem.

    Why is it not possible to achieve a complete separation of the ethanol from the water in the clarified reaction mixture via simple distillation?
  6. chemistry

    when is it better to use fractional distillation other than simple distillation?
  7. organic chem

    in simple distillation or fractional distillation do the changes in temperature occur more gradually?
  8. chem

    if a fractional distillation failed to separate two components efficiently, what alternatives would one consider to effect clean separation by distillation?
  9. cheistry

    Fractional distillation is suitable for separation of miscible liquids with a boiling point difference of about 25 K or less. What part of fractional distillation apparatus makes it efficient and possess an advantage over a simple …
  10. Chemistry

    If I am doing a fractional distillation, is the temperature of the first few drops of the distillation considered part of the boiling range?

More Similar Questions