Petroleum is a dark and viscous liquid with unpleasant smell. It comes from oil wells.
Formation of Petroleum
- Organisms which lived in the seas and ocean; millions of years ago, got buried under sand and clay.
- Those organisms got converted into petroleum and natural gas, due to high pressure and high temperature, and due to lack of oxygen.
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Refining of Petroleum
Crude oil is not very useful rather it needs to be refined to obtain useful products. Petroleum (from oil wells) is sent to oil refineries for processing. Petroleum is subjected to fractional distillation; in oil refinery. Various constituents of petroleum get separated during this process. The following table shows the constituents of petroleum and their uses.
|Constituent of petroleum||Uses|
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)||Fuel for home and industry.|
|Petrol||Fuel for motor vehicles, aviation fuel, solvent for dry cleaning.|
|Kerosene||Fuel for stoves, lamps and jet aircrafts.|
|Diesel||Fuel for heavy motor vehicles, generator and rail engine|
|Paraffin wax||Ointment, candle, Vaseline, etc.|
|Bitumen||Paint, road surfacing|
Natural gas is found along with petroleum in oil wells. Natural gas is used as fuel and as raw materials for making fertilizers. For being used as fuel, natural gas is stored under high pressure. Natural gas which is stored under high pressure is called Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). It is a cleaner fuel than petrol or diesel.
Natural gas is supplied from oil wells to different locations through a network of pipelines. The HVJ (Hazira – Vijaipur – Jagdishpur) Pipeline is an important network of pipelines to supply natural gas. It starts from Gujarat (Hazira) and ends in Uttar Pradesh (Jadishpur).
Drawbacks of Fossil Fuels:
- They are exhaustible resources, and will be finished in the near future.
- Burning of fossil fuels adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Thus, fossil fuel causes environmental pollution.
- Excess level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere creates global warming.
PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association) recommendations for conservation of petrol and diesel:
- Drive at constant and moderate speed as far as possible,
- Switch off the engine at traffic lights or at a place where you have to wait,
- Ensure correct tyre pressure, and
- Ensure regular maintenance of the vehicle.