Crude Oil vs Petroleum
Crude oil and petroleum are interchangeably used to indicate hydrocarbon fossil fuels. However, there is a difference in these two terms which is described below. Fuels are in high demand today, and it has become a very important factor in regulating world’s economy. Hydrocarbons contain so much energy, which is released when burning. This energy can be utilized to carry out lot of our daily functions. When hydrocarbon fuels are completely burning, carbon dioxide and water is produced. The increased consumption of petroleum fuels has caused many environmental problems too. Release of high level of carbon dioxide gas, which is a greenhouse gas, causes global warming. Carbon monoxide, carbon particles and other harmful gases are also released during the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. So, necessary steps should be taken to minimize the environmental pollution caused by these. Further, petroleum is a fossil fuel which should be used sustainably.
Petroleum is a mixture of hydrocarbons. This contains hydrocarbons with various molecular weights. These hydrocarbons may be aliphatic, aromatic, branched or unbranched. Petroleum is commonly used to indicate fossil fuel in gas, liquid and solid state. Hydrocarbons with a lower molecular weight (ex: methane, ethane, propane and butane) occur as gases. Heavier hydrocarbons like pentane, hexane and so on, occur as liquids and solids. Paraffin is an example for a solid hydrocarbon in petroleum. The proportion of each compound in petroleum differs from place to place.
Petroleum is a fossil fuel which has formed through millions of years under the earth’s surface. Dead animals, plants and other micro organisms are decayed and buried under sedimentary rock overtime. When these are subjected to heat and pressure over time, petroleum is formed. Though petroleum largely contains crude oil, some amount of natural gases may dissolve in it.
Petroleum reservoirs are largely found in Middle East countries. People recover petroleum through oil drilling. It is then refined and separated based on their boiling points. The separated petroleum products are used for various purposes. Alkanes from pentane to octane are used as petrol and nonane to hexadecane mixture is used as diesel, kerosene and jet fuel. Alkanes having more than 16 carbon atoms are used as fuel oil and lubricating oil. Heavier solid part of petroleum is used as paraffin wax. The smaller gas molecules are used for domestic and industrial purposes (for burners) by converting them to liquefied petroleum gas.
Except the gas component in the petroleum, the rest of the mixture is known as crude oil. It is a liquid. Alkanes, cycloalkanes, aromatic hydrocarbons are mainly found in crude oil. There are other organic compounds containing nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and other metals. The appearance of crude oil may differ due to the composition of it. Usually it is black or dark brown in color. Crude oil is refined, and its components are mainly used as fuels for automobile, machinery, etc.
What is the difference between Crude Oil and Petroleum?
• The mixture of crude oil and natural gases is known as petroleum.
• Natural gases are dissolved in crude oil, to make petroleum.