C1.4 Crude oil and fuels


Crude oil is derived from an ancient biomass found in rocks. Many useful materials can be produced from crude oil. Crude oil can be fractionally distilled. Some of the fractions can be used as fuels.
Biofuels are produced from plant material. There are advantages and disadvantages to their use as fuels.
Fuels can come from renewable or non-renewable resources.

Candidates should use their knowledge to:
■evaluate the impact on the environment of burning hydrocarbon fuels (e.g. methane and ethanol)
■ consider and evaluate the social, economic and environmental impacts of the uses of fuels. Candidates may be given information and data about other fuels and their products of combustion for comparison and evaluation in the examinations.
■ evaluate developments in the production and uses of better fuels, for example ethanol and hydrogen. Candidates should know and understand the benefits and disadvantages of ethanol and hydrogen as fuels in terms of: use of renewable resources; storage and use of the fuels, and their products of combustion.

■ evaluate the benefits, drawbacks and risks of using plant materials to produce fuels.

Fractional distillation of crude oil (simulation 2) - An excellent, against the clock,  interactive animation produced by Pearson Education Australia assessing your understanding of the use of the fractions obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil.        
Fractional distillation of crude oil (simulation 1) - An excellent animation by Footprints-Science that helps you understand the origin of the fractions produced by the fractional distillation of crude oil.          
Fractional distillation of crude oil (GCSE) - Crude oil contains a mixture of different hydrocarbon compounds that boil at different temperatures. The larger the hydrocarbon molecule (the longer its carbon-chain length), the higher its boiling point. Liquids boil (liquid→gas) at their boiling point and start to condense (gas→liquid) back to liquid just below this temperature. Cooling encourages condensation. What is the difference between distillation and fractional distillation? For
300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds - Award winning animation made by the Carbon Institute.
Bunsen flames Hydrocarbon fuels - Before embarking on this topic, there is a great award winning video to mention, that is definitely worth watching: 300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds. [click here] What is a hydrocarbon fuel?  This is a fuel containing molecules of hydrocarbons. A hydrocarbon is a compound containing carbon and hydrogen atoms only.  In most cases, a hydrocarbon fuel refers to fossil
Hydrocarbons and alkanes - Definition of hydrocarbon    A compound that only contains carbon and hydrogen elements. Tips for drawing organic structures 1. Carbon can only form four covalent bonds. So, when drawing structural formula for any organic compound (such as alkane, alkene, alcohol or carboxylic acids) it is useful to check there are no more, and no less, than 4 covalent bonds formed
Crude oil - What is crude oil? Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbon compounds. For a reminder of what is meant by the terms mixture and compound see previous topic here. A quick reminder also appears at the bottom of this page. What are hydrocarbon compounds? A compound that only contains carbon and hydrogen elements Hydrogen and carbon atoms that are chemically bonded together
Oil refining - Oil refining is a comprehensive simulation of the fractional distillation and uses of crude oil. The simulation is produced by Science NetLinks (AAAS)



Assessment and practical opportunities
■ demonstration of fractional distillation of crude oil using CLEAPSS mixture (take care to avoid confusion with the continuous process in a fractionating column)
■ design an investigation on viscosity, ease of ignition or sootiness of flame of oils or fuels
■ comparison of the energy content of different fuels, for example by heating a fixed volume of water
■ demonstration of the production of solid particles by incomplete combustion using a Bunsen burner yellow flame or a candle flame to heat a boiling tube of cold water
■ collecting and testing the products of combustion of candle wax and methane
■ demonstration of burning sulfur or coal in oxygen and then testing the pH of the gas produced
■ design an investigation on growing cress from seeds in various concentrations of sodium metabisulfite solution to show how acid rain affects plants.

Comparing properties of water, methane and lubricating oil (BP Education Real-World Science)

Build a hydrocarbon molecule interactive (BP Education Real-World Science)

BP Education.  Comparing properties of water, methane and lubricating oil

BP Education. Comparing properties of water, methane and lubricating oil

BP Education. Build a hydrocarbon molecule

BP Education. Build a hydrocarbon molecule (alkanes and alkenes)