Hexane's solubility in crude oil

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Does hexane dissolve in Crude oil?

    My attempt

    I know it dissolves in fats and to some oils.
    I am not sure whether it means crude oil too.
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you known what kind of compounds are present in crude oil? How they are relataed to hexane?
  4. chemisttree

    chemisttree 3,717
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You might be fascinated to know that hexane is isolated from crude oil.
  5. I think that crude oil consists of old fossils which are in the liquid form.
    For example, the marine fossils are in the liquid.
  6. I found from Wikipedia that hexane is isolated from crude oil by distillation.

    This means that the isolation process depends on the boiling points of the substances in the initial crude oil.
    This also means that if hexane could dissolve in crude oil, you could not use distillation to separate the substances.
    Therefore, I suggest that hexane cannot dissolve in crude oil.
  7. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

  8. Hydrocarbons such as alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons.
  9. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    So alcohols can't be separated? Nor ethers?

    Do you know what 'miscible' means?
  10. chemisttree

    chemisttree 3,717
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I've never seen a fossil in crude oil.

    You probably haven't ever seen crude oil before. It is a solution of a large variety of mostly hydrocarbons (some sulfur compounds and nitrogen-containing compounds as well). The key term is 'solution'. Miscibility is a prerequisite for 'solution' don't you agree?
  11. Miscible means that two different solutions can mix together such as water and ethanol are miscible since they mix in all properties.

    Hexane is a hydrocarbon. Crude oil consist a variety of different hydrocarbon chains.
    I know that methane is a gas and the oil sources contain it.
    The more carbon the hydrocarbon chain contain, the greater boiling point.
    This suggests me that hexane is a liquid.

    Wikipedia tells us that hexane is immiscible in water.
    However, it is apparently miscible in other hydrocarbons.

    Since crude oil does not only contain hydrocarbons at least initially, I suggest that hexane is soluble in hydrocarbons.

    It is not apparently soluble in sulfur which crude has initially.
  12. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    You don't have to guess whether hexane is a liquid or not, it is much simpler to check. Or to remember which hydrocarbons are gaseous, which are liquid and which are solid at the room temperature.

    How much sulfur in crude oil? Is it one of the main components, or just impurity?
  13. It is an impurity which needs to removed for environmental reasons at least from bensin.
    Crude oil contains sulfur about 1%.

    It is not one of the main components.
    Hydrocarbons are the main components.
  14. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    So is the hexane solubility in the sulfur relevant to the problem, or not?
  15. It is not relevant to the problem, since it can be removed from crude oil.

    It seems that pure crude oil consists only hydrocarbons.
    We know that non-polars love non-polars.
    Hexane seems to be soluble in crude oil.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?