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Flashcards in SC20 - Fuels ✓ Deck (36)
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SC20a - What is a hydrocarbon?

A compound containing only hydrogen and carbon atoms


SC20a - What are crude oil and natural gas?

  • Natural resources that can be useful (Crude oil needs to be distilled first)
  • They are both finite resources as they are being created much lower than we are using them.
  • Fossil fuels are also non-renewable


SC20a - How are crude oil and natural gas formed?

  • Layers of dead plants and animals form on a sea bed
  • Layers of sedimentary rock form on top and the organisms are trapped
  • After MILLIONS of years, and the absence of oxygen, crude oil/natural gas can be formed


SC20a - Why is crude oil considered a mixture?

It contains different types of hydrocarbons (Different lengths and different amount of carbon atoms) and these different hydrocarbons aren't chemically bonded


SC20a - What are petrochemicals?

Substances formed from crude oil


SC20a - What is the main gas in natural gas?

Methane (CH4)


SC20b - How is crude oil separated?

Using fractional distillation


SC20b - What occurs in fractional distillation (of crude oil)?

  • Crude oil is heated strongly till it evapourates and the hot vapours are pumped into a fractionating column
  • The fractionating column is hottest at the bottom and coldest at the top
  • As vapours rise, they will cool down and will condense when they reach the fraction at a temperature lower than their boiling point
  • Liquid from each fraction falls into a tray and is pumped away
  • The vapours with the lowest boiling points don't condense and leave as a mixture of gases
  •  Bitumen has the highest boiling point and leaves the bottom as a hot liquid


SC20b - What are the products of each fraction (in a crude oil fractionating column), and their uses?

Top to bottom:

  • Gases: domestic heating/cooking
  • Petrol: fuel for cars
  • Kerosene: fuel for aircrafts
  • Diesel oil: fuel for cars/trains
  • Fuel oil: fuel for ships
  • Bitumen: surfacing roads and roofs

Greek People Kiss Dutch Fish Babies


SC20b - How does the number of carbon atoms (size) change from top to bottom of fractions (Gases to bitumen)

It increases from top to bottom (Gases is smallest, bitumen is longest)


SC20b - How does boiling point change from top to bottom of fractions (Gases to bitumen)

It increases from top to bottom (Gases is lowest, bitumen is highest)


SC20b - How does ease of ignition change from top to bottom of fractions (Gases to bitumen)

It decreases from top to bottom (Gases is easiest, bitumen is hardest)


SC20b - How does visocsity change from top to bottom of fractions (Gases to bitumen)

It increases from top to bottom (Gases is lowest, bitumen is highest)

Viscosity is 'how thick' the fluid is. high viscosity (bitumen) flows with more difficulty than low viscosity (gases)


SC20c - What are the first four alkanes?

  • Methane (CH4)
  • Ethane (C2H6)
  • Propane (C3H8)
  • Butane (C4H10)


SC20c - What are alkanes?

Hydrocarbons with only single covalent bonds between carbon atoms


SC20c - What are the compounds of crude oil, mostly?



SC20c - What does the family of alkanes form and what are the features of this?

The alkane homologous series has the features:

  • Molecular formula differs by CH2
  • Formula of CnH2n+2
  • Gradual variation in physical properties
  • Similar chemical properties


SC20c - What does the structural formula of alkanes look like?

*Just a pic*


SC20c - How does the boiling point of alkanes change a they get longer?

 The boiling points increase. The longer they get, the less the difference in boiling point


SC20c - How do alkanes react with oxygen?

Combustion: Alkane + Oxygen → Carbon dioxide + Water (With excess oxygen)


SC20d - What is combustion?

When a hydrocarbon burns and oxidises with the oxygen in the air


SC20d - What is complete combustion?

  • When a hydrocarbon burns in excess oxygen to produce only carbon dioxide and water (as well as energy).
  • This can be considered oxidation of the hydrocarbon


SC20d - What is incomplete combustion?

When a hydrocarbon burns in a limited supply of oxygen producing carbon and/or carbon monoxide as well as carbon dioxide and water. energy is also produced (although this is less than complete combustion)


SC20d - What is the test for carbon dioxide?

Lime water will turn milky in the presence of carbon dioxide


SC20d - What are the problems with complete combustion?

  • Carbon dioxide can dissolve in atmospheric water to produce dilute carbonic acid (H2CO3) which can cause weak acid rain
  • Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to global warming


SC20d - What are the problems with incomplete combustion?

  • Carbon is black soot or smoke which can block pipes carrying away waste products and can blacked buildings and cause breathing problems
  • Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, toxic gas that binds to the haemoglobin of red blood cells reducing the amount of oxygen that can bind causing sleepiness and unconsciousness and sometimes even death


SC20e - Describe how combustion of hydrocarbons can lead to acid rain

  • Hydrocarbons contain impurities of sulfur that will oxidise with oxygen creating sulfur dioxide
  • Sulfur dioxide dissolves in water to form sulfurous acid:
    • SO2 + H2O → H2SO3
  • Sulfurous acid can be oxidised forming sulfuric acid:
    • 2H2SO3 + O2 → 2H2SO4
  • Sulfurous acid and sulfuric acid can fall as acid rain


SC20e - How can 'internal combustion' lead to acid rain?

  • Internal combustion engines in cars reach temperatures high enough that air inside the engine can cause the nitrogen to be oxide
  • This forms NOx (x number of oxygen) which is an atmospheric pollutant
  • Nitrogen oxides dissolve with atmospheric water and form nitric acid:
    • NOx + H2O → HNO3 (unbalanced)
  • Nitric acid can fall as acid rain
  • Catalytic converters tend to reduce the NOx produced


SC20e - What pH is acid rain?

  • <5.2
  • (you may not actually need to know this??? but....)
  • (Also now that I've said you may not need to know this i can guarantee you will remember it )


SC20e - What are the effects of acid rain?

  • Crops don't grow well in low pHs and so will die
  • Changes conditions required for animals/plants to live in
  • Excess acidity in rivers and lakes can kill fish/insects and prevent eggs from hatching
  • Increased rate of metal's corrosion:
    • Metal + sulfuric acid → metal sulfate + hydrogen
  • Weathering of limestone (calcium carbonate) buildings due to neutralisation:
    • Limestone + Sulfuric acid → Calcium sulfate + water + carbon dioxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide is a red-brown toxic gas that causes respiratory problems such as bronchitis