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Petroleum Products

Last Updated : 21 Jul, 2021
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Petroleum products are items obtained from crude oil (petroleum) after it has been refined. Petroleum products are complicated mixes, as opposed to petrochemicals, which are a collection of well-defined, typically pure organic molecules. The vast bulk of petroleum is turned into petroleum products, which include a variety of fuel classifications. 

Refineries can generate varying amounts of petroleum products based on the composition of the crude oil and market demand. The majority of oil products are utilised as “energy carriers,” such as various grades of fuel oil and gasoline. These fuels include gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil, and heavier fuel oils, or can be mixed to produce them.

Following are mostly commonly used Petroleum products with their applications are mentioned below:

1) Petroleum gas: This is a fuel that is utilized in both households and industries. It can be used directly as a fuel or in the form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

2) Petrol: A fuel used in light motor vehicles. It is also used as a dry cleaning solvent.

3) Kerosene: This fuel is used to cook food in wick stoves and pressure stoves. It is used in lanterns to provide lighting.

4) Diesel: This fuel is utilized in large vehicles. It is also used to power irrigation pump sets in agriculture and electric generators.

5) Lubricating oil: This type of oil is used to lubricate machinery and engines.

6) Paraffin Wax: This is a kind of wax that is used to make candles, vaseline, ointments, wax paper, and grease.

Let’s discuss some petroleum products like Diesel, Lubricating Oil, Paraffin Wax and Bitumen in depth as:


Diesel fuel in general refers to any liquid fuel particularly intended for use in diesel engines, where fuel ignition occurs without the need of a spark plug as a consequence of compression of the input air mixture followed by fuel injection. As a result, diesel fuel must have strong compression ignition properties. 

The most prevalent kind of diesel fuel is a particular fractional distillation of petroleum fuel oil, although non-petroleum alternatives such as biodiesel, biomass to liquid (BTL), and gas to liquid (GTL) diesel are rapidly being researched and used. 

Diesel fuel is made from a variety of sources, the most prevalent of which being petroleum. Biomass, animal fat, biogas, natural gas, and coal liquefaction are some other sources: Petroleum diesel, Synthetic diesel, Hydrogenated oils and fats, Dimethyl ether and Biodiesel.

Uses of Diesel Fuel:

  1. Heavy Automobiles: Trucks and buses, which were often powered by Otto engines from the 1920s through the 1950s, are now virtually entirely driven by diesel engines. Diesel fuel is commonly utilised in these vehicles due to its igniting properties.
  2. Railways: In the latter part of the twentieth century, diesel supplanted coal and fuel oil for steam-powered vehicles, and it is now almost entirely utilised for the combustion engines of self-powered rail trains (locomotives and railcars). 
  3. Aircraft: Diesel engines, in general, are unsuitable for aircraft and helicopters. This is due to the diesel engine’s poor power-to-mass ratio, which means that diesel engines are generally hefty, which is a disadvantage in aeroplanes.

Lubricating Oil

A lubricant or lubricating oil is a material that aids in the reduction of friction between surfaces in mutual contact, therefore lowering the heat created as the surfaces move. 

It may also be used to transfer forces, convey foreign particles, or heat or cool the surfaces. The ability to reduce friction is well recognised. The substance used to reduce friction between surfaces having mutual contact. The property of reducing friction is called lubricity. They have a high boiling point and low freezing point. Generally, lubricants contain about 90% base oil and less than 10% other substances. Lubricants are mostly used in industries as well as in our daily life.

Uses Of Lubricating Oil:

Let’s take a look at some of the most common applications for lubricating oils. It is utilised in a variety of sectors. Lubrication is the lifeblood of engines and machinery. Some of the applications are as follows:

  1. It keeps the metal surface from corroding: Lubricant oil protects the metal surface against corrosion and roughness. It breathes new life into equipment and boosts performance. It is critical to maintain machinery, motors, tools, and other metal surfaces properly lubricated for increased efficiency and life.
  2. It Aids in the Control of Friction Between Weight-Bearing Surfaces: It also aids in the control and mitigation of friction between load bearing surfaces. This generally applies to heavy machinery and tools used in a variety of sectors. Industrial lubricants and lubricating oil decrease friction and hence enhance overall performance. They help prevent wear by producing a lubrication layer between surfaces in contact with one other.
  3. Aids in temperature reduction by carrying heat away from friction and fuel combustion: We are all aware of how critical temperature management is for any machine, tool, or engine. It is the lubricating oil that keeps the temperature stable at all times in order to keep the machines and tools running smoothly, or else they will cease to function to their full strength and limitations.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a soft, solid wax that is white or colourless. It is composed of saturated hydrocarbons. Because it is colourless, tasteless, and odourless, it is frequently used in skin-softening salon and spa treatments on the hands, cuticles, and feet. It can also be used to relieve discomfort in joints and muscles.

It is found in solid-state at room temperature and melts above 37 degrees centigrade. It is a waxy solid which is odorless and tasteless. At the same time, it is an excellent electrical insulator. Paraffin wax was commercially manufactured for the first time in 1867, less than ten years after the first petroleum well was sunk. When petroleum is chilled, paraffin wax quickly precipitates. Technical development has only contributed to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of separations and filters.

Chemical treatment, adsorbent decolorization, and fractionation of separated waxes into grades by distillation, recrystallization, or both are all techniques of purification. Wax concentration varies greatly amongst crude oils.

Uses Of Paraffin Wax:

  1. Food: Paraffin waxes are used in a variety of foods, such as the rind of some cheeses to preserve the surface, or to make base gum, which is a fundamental component in chewing gum.
  2. Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals: To preserve the surface of tablets, postpone the release of their contents, and improve their shine, paraffin wax is used as a component in lotions, pastes, creams, lipsticks, and as a coating for tablets.
  3. Manufacturing of Paper and Cardboard: Wax paper is commonly used as a food wrapper. Paper alone does not adequately isolate the content, therefore the surface must be coated with a substance that offers a barrier against dampness, germs, and odours while also preserving the scent and flavour of the wrapped food. To provide stiffness to corrugated cardboard packing, a substance such as paraffin is required.
  4. Agriculture: To facilitate handling, shipping, and dispensing of fertiliser, the fertiliser business use paraffins and specific mixes as anti-caking agents.
  5. Manufacturing of candles: The candle business is one of the world’s major consumers of refined wax, and paraffin is the preferred substance for candle manufacture. Despite the growing diversification of wax uses, the production of candles continues to absorb the majority of the world’s paraffin.


Bitumen is a mixture of hydrocarbons that appear black. It has a vicious characteristic. It can also be defined as a thick black low-grade crude oil formed of complex hydrocarbons. Bitumen is the main fuel component of oil sands. Most of them are used in construction industries.

Bitumen, commonly known as asphalt in the United States, is a material derived from crude oil that is recognised for its waterproofing and sticky qualities. Bitumen manufacturing by distillation eliminates lighter crude oil components such as gasoline and diesel, leaving behind the “heavier” bitumen. To increase the grade, the manufacturer frequently refines it numerous times.

Uses of Bitumen:

  • The vast majority of refined bitumen is utilised in the building sector. It is mostly used in paving and roofing applications. 
  • The majority of bitumen is used as a binder in asphalt for roads, runways, parking lots, and footpaths. Gravel and crushed rock are combined with thick bitumen to keep it together before being put to roads.
  • Because of its waterproofing properties, bitumen is utilised in the roofing sector to account for 10% of all bitumen used globally. In different building materials such as carpet tile backing and paint, 5% of bitumen is utilised for sealing and insulating functions.
  • Other applications include soundproofing, explosives, mildew protection, briquette binder, mirror backing, shoe bottoms, fence post coating, and soil stability.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is the function of a petroleum refinery?


Petroleum refineries process crude oil into petroleum products that may be used as fuel for transportation, cooking, paving roads, and producing power, as well as feedstock for chemical manufacture. The refining cycle separates crude oil into its constituents, which are then progressively reconfigured into new products.

Question 2: What are examples of petroleum products?


Petroleum items covered by the Oil Spill Law are frequently used for home heating and powering engines. Kerosene, gasoline, home heating oil, and jet fuel are examples of petroleum products.

Question 3: What is petroleum and its uses?


Petroleum products include aviation fuels, heating and power generation fuel oils, asphalt and road tar, as well as feedstocks for the production of additives, plastics, and industrial components found in nearly everything we use.

Question 4: Why fossil fuels are non-renewable sources?


Fossil fuels are nonrenewable sources because they are present in limited quantity in nature and getting exhausted due to excessive use by humans.

Question 5: What is the purest form of carbon?


Coke is the purest form of carbon.

Question 6: In which country first oil well was drilled?


The USA drilled the first oil well.

Question 7: What does PCRA stand for?


Petroleum Conservation Resource association.

Question 8: What are the components of petroleum?


The major components of petroleum are hydrogen and carbon but also consist of other gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and some traces of metal.

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