What is Crude Oil?
Crude oil is a term used to refer to unprocessed petroleum product that occurs naturally and comprises hydrocarbon deposits. The hydrocarbons found in crude oils make them an important source of varied substances. Hydrocarbons come in varied structures and lengths, they are compounds that have carbon and hydrogen molecules. Crude oil may be processed to generate practical products like diesel, gasoline and other petrochemical products. Though it is mostly referred to as black gold, this petroleum product comes in a broad viscosity range and varies in color from shades of yellow and black. The color of crude oil is determined by the amount of hydrocarbon it contains. At the initial stage of processing, distillation is done. This is basically the process of heating the crude oil with the aim of separating the various components contained therein.
Importance of Hydrocarbon in Crude Oil
Hydrocarbons are important because they contain energy in high levels. This makes the substances that are generated from crude oil have high levels of energy. For instance, the paraffin wax, the diesel fuel and gasoline derived from crude oil utilize the energy in hydrocarbons as important sources of fuel. Hydrocarbons also come in varied forms. The smallest component of hydrocarbon is known as methane. This is a gas whose weight is much lighter than the weight of air. Components that are longer usually have five or more carbon molecules and often take liquid form. Components with very long chains have large numbers of carbon molecules. Such components take on solid form such as tar or wax. The combination of varied structures and lengths make hydrocarbon chains and very flexible in production of numerous substances. Through chemical processes, it is possible to generate a wide range of products from nylon to synthetic rubber and plastics from crude oil.