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GCSE Chemistry > Fractional Distillation

Fractional distillation is the process of heating up a mixture containing different substances with different boiling points, and drawing the different fractions off as they each boil and liquify at its own level. Crude oil contains a lot of useful substances that can be used for different purposes.

Each fraction is not a pure compound but is a mixture of different alkanes with similar boiling points. Fractional distillation is used because the substances in crude oil are miscible (which means that they mix) therefore they do not separate out into layers. The following table shows the products of fractional distillation:

Name of Fraction Boiling Point Uses of Fraction
Petroleum gases 25oc Bottled gas and chemicals
Gasoline 40oc - 75oc Petrol
Naphtha 75oc - 150oc Chemicals
Kerosene 150oc - 240oc Jet Fuel
Diesel Oil 220oc - 250oc Diesel Fuel
Lubricating Oil 250oc - 350oc Lubricants and chemicals
Fuel Oil 350oc Fuels for ships
Bitumen stays solid/liquid Roads and Roofing Felt

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