• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

How are products from oil obtained and used?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How are products from oil obtained and used? Crude oil is a vital substance used frequently in our everyday lives. However we are all aware that oil is being used faster than it can be produced and that there are only scarce amounts left. The question is how can we make these products last as long as possible and what are the alternatives? Crude oil is a fossil fuel, made naturally from decaying plants and animals living in ancient seas millions of years ago. It is usually found under the ground and under the sea in certain parts of the world such as the Middle East and Texas, in the USA. Although crude oil is very important substance, the oil itself has no direct use, so has to be refined. The first step in the refinery of crude oil is fractional distillation. Fractional distillation is used to separate fractions such as gasoline, bitumen, kerosene, petroleum, fuel oil, etc from crude oil. During fractional distillation the crude oil is split into a variety of fractions, during the process each fraction of the crude oil will evaporate and can therefore be collected by condensing it. This means that if you know the certain boiling points of each fraction you can separate the certain substance you need. The process begins in the oil refinery. ...read more.


Fossil fuels are also cheap and relatively easy to find. Hence why they?ve been used for long enough that we?re used to depending on them. However there are some major disadvantages of using fossil fuels the first one being pollution. When fossil fuels are burnt many harmful gasses can be produced, for example carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide comes from incomplete combustion and can be seen in the form of smoke or soot; it can be very dangerous as it reduces the amount of oxygen that the haemoglobin part of the blood can carry around the body, this can eventually lead to death. Fossil fuels also produce carbon dioxide when burnt. Scientists suspect that this is one of the main causes for the greenhouse effects. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can also be produces which combine high in the atmosphere and create acid rain. Acid Rain causes the weathering of limestone, encourages aluminium ions, damages trees and more. The mining and extraction of fossil fuels also damages the environment, for example the mining of coal results in the destruction of wide areas of land. Mining this fossil fuel is also difficult and can be incredibly dangerous to the lives of miners. This is not the only disadvantage however; fossil fuels (particularly crude oil) are expected to run out within the next century if the current demand for oil continues. ...read more.


Geothermal power requires no fuel and so the costs are low, however there are not many places where geothermal power stations can be built, and harmful gases and minerals may occasionally come up from below the ground. These can be difficult to control. Hydrogen Hydrogen is often seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels and biofuels. When hydrogen burns, the only product formed is water. Most hydrogen is made by reacting steam with coal or natural gas, which are non-renewable resources. Hydrogen can also be made by passing electricity through water, although, most electricity is generated using coal and other fossil fuels: any pollution from burning these fuels just happens at the power station instead of at the vehicle itself. Another problem with hydrogen is that it is very difficult handle. Hydrogen gas is very flammable can explode it is handled in te wrong way, so therefore It is not as convenient as petrol and diesel. There are Some hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road today, however there are difficulties involved in making and handling hydrogen. In conclusion all energy resources have their advantages and disadvantages. Fossil fuels and nuclear energy have the worst side effects and are non ?renewable so alternatives must be found and used. The change from fossil fuels which have been used for 100?s of years, to something brand new will be difficult, and ?spoil? the scenery but will be a small proce to pay in order for our planet and race to survive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Mark: 4/5

This is a very detailed and comprehensive answer. An attempt has been made to evaluate the alternatives to fossil fuels and the writer has described how fossil fuels are obtained in good detail.

In order to get to 5/5, the writer must use subsections throughout in order to provide a clear structure. Also, a better description of the composition of fossil fuel is needed.

Marked by teacher Kathryn Bradley 06/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere essays

  1. GCSE Chemistry - Electrolysis Coursework

    Ø Faradays = 240/96500 Ø Moles Copper = 0.002487/2 Ø Mass = 0.0012435 x 64 Ø Mass = 0.0759 grams If the current is 0.2A and the time taken 25 minutes Ø Charge = 0.2 x (25 x 60)

  2. Importance of electrolysis in our daily lives

    The metals act as the electrodes for a simple cell. The farther away the two metals in the reactivity series, the higher voltage and current is produced. WATER ELECTROLYSIS The water is one of the most common and the oldest technique discovered by scientist.

  1. Investigation to see how the voltage changes when we change the metals used in ...

    For example, the distance between Lead and Tin is very small compared to the distance with tin and zinc. Considering this is the same for each three of the charts, the results must be quite accurate. However, because the results for Aluminium are not accurate, it is difficult to prove how accurate it is.

  2. Investigating how the amount of copper affects the mass of the cathode

    I also noticed that as the mass of the cathode increases the mass of the anode decreased. To link this relationship we can say that the anode is inversely proportional to the cathode. As the anode loses its mass, that cathode gains it.

  1. Investigating The Reactivity Of The Metals Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper And Calcium And Their ...

    another set of results to give and accurate reading of the temperature. There were a few anomalous results but the results were accurate enough. The results were reliable and proved that my prediction was correct and the experiment was carried out correctly.

  2. air pollution

    The issue of air quality is now a major concern for many European citizens. It is also one of the areas in which the European Union has been most active. Since the early 1970s, the EU has been working to improve air quality by controlling emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere i.e.

  1. Are Electric Cars better for the Environment?

    The only byproduct of this vehicle is water vapour, which makes it one of the most environmentally friendly cars on the road. FCEVs must be refuelled at a designated hydrogen refuelling station, just as a normal car is refilled at a gas station [1].

  2. The Earth's Atmosphere and Air Pollution

    Carbon Dioxide is locked away inside limestone, mainly as calcium carbonate. More carbon dioxide was locked away in fossil fuels, which are found in sedimentary rock. Due to Carbon Dioxide being a soluble gas, much of it dissolved into the oceans.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work