Kerosene is a thin, clear liquid consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons that boil
between 302°F and 527°F (150°C and 275°C). While kerosene can be extracted from coal,
oil shale, and wood, it is primarily derived from refined petroleum.
Kerosene is extracted from a mixture of petroleum chemicals found deep within the
earth. The oil itself is derived from decayed organisms that were buried along with
the sediments of early geological eras.
The Manufacturing Process: -
Crude oil recovery:
1 The first step in the manufacture of kerosene is to collect the crude oil.
Most oil supplies are buried deep beneath the earth and there are three primary
types of drilling operations used to bring it to the surface.
A second process, Rotary Drilling, is used to reach oil reservoirs that are much
deeper underground. This process requires sinking a drill pipe with a rotating
steel bit into the ground. This rotary drill spins rapidly to pulverize earth
2 When any of these drilling processes break into an underground reservoir,
a geyser erupts as dissolved hydrocarbon gases push the crude oil to the surface.
These gases will force about 20% of the oil out of the well. The crude oil
recovered is pumped into large storage tanks and transported to a refining site.
3 After the oil is collected, gross contaminants such as gases, water, and dirt
are removed. Desalting is one cleansing operation that can be performed both in
the oilfield and at the refinery site. After the oil has been washed, the water
is separated from the oil.
4 Distillation is one type of process involves heating the crude oil to separate
its components. The columns used to separate lighter oils are proportionally tall
and thin (up to 116 ft [35 m] tall) because they only require atmospheric pressure.
Tall distillation columns can more efficiently separate hydrocarbon mixtures
because they allow more time for the high boiling compounds to condense
before they reach the top of the column.
5 The condensed liquid fractions can be collected separately. The fraction that
is collected between 302°F and 482°F (150°C and 250°C) is kerosene. By comparison,
gasoline is distilled between 86°F and 410°F (30°C and 210°C). By recycling the
distilled kerosene through the column multiple times its purity can be
increased. This recycling process is known as refluxing.
6 Once the oil has been distilled into its fractions, further processing in a series
of chemical reactors is necessary to create kerosene. Catalytic reforming, akylkation,
catalytic cracking, and hydroprocessing are four of the major processing techniques
used in the conversion of kerosene.
7 Once the kerosene has been reacted, additional extraction is required to remove
secondary contaminants that can affect the oil's burning properties. Aromatic
compounds, which are carbon ring structures such as benzene, are one class of
contaminant that must be removed.
The distilling process of kerosene:
maximize the contact time between the kerosene and the extraction solvent.
Solvents are chosen based on the solubility of the impurities. Therefore,
as the kerosene flows through the tower, the impurities will tend to be
drawn into the solvent phase. Once the contaminants have been pulled out
of the kerosene, the solvent is removed leaving the kerosene in a more
8 After extraction is complete, the refined kerosene is stored in tanks for
shipping. It is delivered by tank trucks to facilities where the kerosene is
packaged for commercial use.
Metal containers may be used because kerosene is not a gas and does not require
pressurized storage vessels. However, its flammability dictates that it must be
handled as a hazardous substance.
The distillation and extraction processes are not completely efficient and some
processing steps may have to be repeated to maximize the kerosene production. By
recycling the petroleum waste through the reaction sequence several times, the
quality of kerosene production can be optimized.
Wishing you all the best,