Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Organic chem:fractional distillation

  1. Jul 30, 2012 #1
    Hi,
    During fractional distillation,crude oil is heated to a certain temperature,then it is pumped into the fractional tower.
    As you know,petroleum is a mixture of alkanes.When it is heated in the furnace(to about 400°C),it does not burn.But lower alkanes(e.g.CH4) are extremely flammable,why it doesn't burn at 400°C?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #2

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Probably because you carefully avoid contact with air or oxygen.
     
  4. Jul 30, 2012 #3
    Oh,is that means,petroleum is heated with the absence of air in the furnace?
     
  5. Jul 30, 2012 #4

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes. I suppose you flood the columns with nitrogen when you begin operation. Later on, there will be only the vapours of the various alkanes etc. in the column.
     
  6. Jul 30, 2012 #5
    Where does the nitrogen go?
     
  7. Jul 30, 2012 #6

    DrDu

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I suppose it would leave the column together with the lightes alkanes (methane, ethane) which don't condense.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Organic chem:fractional distillation
  1. Organic Chem (Replies: 4)

Loading...