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Crude Oil Distillation And The Definition Of Refinery Capacity

A crude oil refinery is a gaggle of industrial services that turns crude oil and other inputs into completed petroleum merchandise. A refinery’s capacity refers to the utmost amount of crude oil designed to stream into the distillation unit of a refinery, additionally known as the crude unit.

The diagram below presents a stylized model of the Indian distillation process. Crude oil is made up of a mixture of hydrocarbons, and the distillation process aims to separate this crude oil into broad categories of its component hydrocarbons, or “fractions.” Crude oil is first heated after which put right into a distillation column, also known as a nonetheless, the place completely different merchandise boil off and are recovered at different temperatures.

Source: U.S. Power Information Administration.
Lighter products, resembling butane and different liquid petroleum gases (LPG), gasoline mixing elements, and naphtha, are recovered at the bottom temperatures. Mid-vary merchandise embrace jet gas, kerosene, and distillates (similar to residence heating oil and diesel gasoline). The heaviest merchandise corresponding to residual fuel oil are recovered at temperatures typically over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The simplest refineries cease at this nymex natural gas futures quotes level. Although not proven within the simplified diagram above, most refineries in the United States reprocess the heavier fractions into lighter merchandise to maximise the output of probably the most fascinating merchandise using more sophisticated refining equipment such as catalytic crackers, reformers, and cokers.

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