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0-381 -99624-7 RB

Why

The Reason

Series

PETROLEUM gas, oil and asphalt Adler

Irving Illustrated

by Peggy Adler

The petroleum that

take out of the

the sea took nature

produce.

millions of years to

used

we

and from under

earth

hundred years. And

it

hundred more years

to use

We burn

It

will

take only one it

all

use petroleum for energy

it

has been

large amounts for only about a

in

as

change

it

oil,

to

gas or gasoline.

make many

up.

when we

We

also

different things,

from paint to explosives, from synthetic fibers to antifreeze. This

how we we split And we

came

book

tells

how

and and get it out. It tells how petroleum, change it and use it. learn about the two most impor-

petroleum

find

to

be

in

the ground,

it

tant problems arising from our increasing

use of petroleum: pollution and a rapidly diminishing supply of In

Irving sity

this vital

product.

and understandable language, Adler shows us the present neces-

clear

of conserving the petroleum

still

avail-

able and the potential sources of

much-needed product for the future.

this

CENTENNIAL SCHOOL LIBRARY SCIO.

OREGON

THE REASON WHY SERIES

PETROLEUM gas, oil and asphalt

IRVING illustrated

ADLER

by Pegsy Adler

The John Day Company



New York

THE REASON WHY SERIES AIR-Reviscd

LEARNING ABOUT STEEL: THROUGH THE STORY OF A NAIL MACHINES

Edition, 1972

ATOMIC ENERGY ATOMS AND MOLECULES THE CALENDAR COAL-Revised

MAGNETS NUMBERS OLD AND NEW

Edition, 1974

NUMERALS: NEW DRESSES FOR OLD NUMBERS OCEANS

COMMUNICATION DIRECTIONS AND ANGLES THE EARTH'S CRUST ENERGY EVOLUTION

RIVERS SETS SHADOWS-Revised Edition, 1968

FIBERS-Updated Edition, 1972

HEAT AND

ITS

USES HEAT,

Revised Edition of

STORMS TASTE,

1973

TOUCH AND SMELL

THINGS THAT SPIN: FROM TOPS TO ATOMS TREE PRODUCTS WHY? A BOOK OF REASONS

HOUSES INSECTS AND PLANTS INTEGERS: POSITIVE

AND NEGATIVE

WHY AND HOW?

IRRIGATION: CHANGING

A SECOND BOOK OF REASONS YOUR EARS YOUR EYES

DESERT INTO GARDEN

LANGUAGE AND MAN

Copyright

©

1975 by Irving Adler

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, the reproduction or utilization of

work

this

known

in

any form or by any

electronic,

mechanical, or other means,

or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying,

now

and recording,

in any information storage and retrieval system is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. Published simultaneously in Canada by Fitzhenry 6Whiteside Limited, Toronto.

and

Manufactured

in the

United States of America

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Adler, Irving. Petroleum. (His The Reason why books) Includes index.

SUMMARY:

Discusses the different kinds of

oil,

how

recovered, their uses, and the problems of pollution, shortage.

Petroleum— Juvenile

1. I.

Alder, Peggy,

ill.

literature. [1.

TN870.A247 1975 ISBN 0-381-99624-7RB 10

Petroleum!

II. Title.

987654321

553'.28

75-2431

oil

they are found and conservation,

and

oil

Contents

4 Petroleum Oil in the Ground, and How It Got There Early Discovery and Uses 8 The Kerosine Lamp and the Automobile Other Uses of Petroleum Underground Pools of Oil Oil in the United States

The

Oil of the

World

Locating Oil Drilling for Oil

14 16

18

20 on Land

22 2A

Bringing Oil to the Surface

What Is in Petroleum

26

28

32

Transporting Gas, Oil and Oil Products

Petrochemicals

36

Pollution Problems

40

How Long Will Oil Last? The World's Energy Oil Conservation

Oil for the Future

Index

47

10

12

Drilling for Oil at Sea

Refining Oil

6

43 44 45

42

34

Petroleum Petroleum comes from the ground.

found

in

many

It is

parts of the world.

We drill wells for it on land and under the sea.

We

burn

change

it

it

to

produce energy.

chemically to

make such

We

differ-

ent things as paint, phonograph records, explosives, fibers, antifreeze

and food con-

tainers. It

took millions of years to

leum.

It

make

petro-

has been used in large amounts

for only about

one hundred years.

It will

J.S.S.R

take only a hundred years all

to use

it

up.

This book

and

its

uses,

related to

came find it

more

it

to

tells

and describes some problems

its

be

the story of petroleum

use. It tells

how

and how we

in the ground,

and get

and change

it it

petroleum

how we split And it tells of

out. It tells

and use

it.

two important problems

that arise from

the use of petroleum: Using petroleum dirties the air

we

breathe, so

we have

a

cleanup problem; and petroleum will soon

be used up, so

we have

finding something to take

the problem of its

place.

Oil in the Ground,

and

How It Got There

The word petroleum means rock

oil. It

comes from

two Latin words, petra (rock) and oleum refers to oil

and

oily substances that are

ground. Petroleum

may be

or a liquid, called crude

oil,

asphalt.

6

(oil),

found

and

in the

a gas, called natural gas, or a solid substance, called

Asphalt

found on the surface of the earth in some

is

Lake

places, in asphalt lakes like Pitch

West have

Hancock Park near

Indies, or the asphalt pit in

Los Angeles, California. Crude also

oil

and natural gas

been found occasionally

where they seep or flow out most crude

oil

in Trinidad,

at

the surface,

of the ground.

However,

and natural gas are deep under the

ground, and wells have to be drilled to bring them to the surface.

Petroleum was formed millions of years ago from the bodies of small animals and plants that lived and died

The bodies fell to the sea floor, where they were covered by mud and sand carried to the sea by ancient rivers. The mud and sand, pressed by their in ancient seas.

own weight and by chemicals

the weight of the sea, and cemented

in the seawater,

rocks (rocks with shale, sandstone

in the rock,

leum.

many

hardened to form porous

small spaces in them), like

and limestone. The bodies, trapped

decayed only partly and became petro-

Many layers

of these porous rocks

one on top of the other. Sandwiched

were

also

earth's surface folded these layers

of

among them

nonporous rocks, formed by the cooling of

lava that flowed out of volcanoes.

many

in

were formed,

them out

of the sea.

Movements of the of rock and lifted

Early Discovery and Uses

People have known about petroleum and some of

its

uses since ancient times. As far back as six thousand

years ago, asphalt and

were used

now known

located in the region great wall of Babylon join the bricks to

oil

was

in

Mesopotamia,

as Iraq.

built, asphalt

When

the

was used

to

each other. Asphalt was also used to

seal the joints of ships.

The

Bible story of the great

Noah sealed the joints of the ark with pitch, another name for asphalt. In Egypt, one use for asphalt was for embalming mummies. The fact that oil can burn was discovered early. The ancient Hebrews used oil to start the fire on the altar in their temple. The Romans used oil lamps to provide light. The Greeks even used oil in warfare, to set enemy ships on fire. The ancient Chinese went far beyond merely using flood says that

petroleum that they found on the surface of the ground.

Over 2,200 years ago they as 3,000 feet to find

bronze, the

The

bits

first

it.

drilled for

Their

drill bits

hard metal of which

were mounted on rods

8

oil,

of

going as deep

were made

tools

of

were made.

bamboo.

The Kerosine Lamp and the Automobile Large-scale production and use of crude

oil

began

in

the middle of the nineteenth century, following the

invention of the kerosine lamp. In the United States

before that time, light was produced by burning ani-

mal

fat,

such as tallow from which candles were made,

The kerosine lamp, invented in 1854, created a demand for crude oil, from which kerosine is made. The first oil well drilled to meet this demand was a 69-foot well, drilled in 1859, or whale oil

burned

in lamps.

in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

10

Crude

oil

production was given an even greater

boost by the invention of the automobile, powered by

an engine that burns gasoline, another crude uct.

The

first

oil

prod-

"horseless carriage" with a gasoline en-

gine was built in 1892 by Frank and Charles Duryea.

In 1908 Henry Ford began to produce the Model T, the

first

automobile that was cheap enough for

people to buy

it.

The need

for gasoline

and

many

for other

petroleum products described on the next page has

grown

since then,

and world production

of crude oil

has also grown very rapidly to meet this need. In 1911,

world production of crude (A barrel

is

42 United States

production of crude rels,

oil

or sixty times as

oil

was 300 million

gallons.) In 1972,

was 18 thousand

much.

11

barrels.

world

million bar-

the gas for cooking; (2) the fuel oil that heats the home and (3) powers the electric generator; (4) the gasoline and oil for the car, truck and tractor; (5) the asphalt of the pavement; and (6) the rubber of the tires, all come from crude oil. (1)

Other Uses of Petroleum

The

gasoline engine, originally developed for the auto-

mobile,

now

also supplies

power

for other

machines

such as trucks, airplanes, buses and farm machinery.

The

diesel engine, using diesel

oil,

powers trucks and

locomotives. This has further increased the for crude

oil,

demand

from which gasoline and diesel

made. 12

oil

are

After 1918, trucks used

when

number

the

began increasing

sary to build

paved roads

became important

for

rapidly,

them

as a material

pavement could be made. At taken from asphalt is

made from crude

pits.

of automobiles

became

it

and

neces-

to ride on. Asphalt

from which a smooth the asphalt was

first,

Now most

of the asphalt used

oil.

In automobiles, and in other machines that have

moving

parts,

it is

necessary to

against each other.

purpose are also

The

oil. It is

and

to supply

power

the generators in

icals,

the

known

oil

for the

many

oil.

produced from crude

used to heat homes,

fuel

oil is also

lubricating oils used for this

made from crude

Another important

the parts that rub

oil

and

offices

oil is

factories,

steam turbines that turn

electric

power

plants.

Crude

raw material from which many chem-

as petrochemicals, are

made. (See pages

36-39.)

Natural gas, found in some heating and cooking, and

is

oil wells, is

also

used in home

used in industry.

In 1972 the energy consumed in the United States

was about 70,000 million million Units.

(One

British

Thermal Unit

British is

the

Thermal

amount

of

heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of

water one degree on the Fahrenheit

scale.) Oil

and

natural gas supplied over three-fourths of this energy.

13

anticline

L;

stratigraphic trap

fault

,'.-;

._>.:::-

A

S»—

^-r

:^;u:i? ij

j2^iii2i-5

"

*,*

^

y,

-,::;;;

—^^iz^iPHU-'S-;

j=r-.'??«^i^5

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^Vr. r:

Al-'iii'Kvv.'

^^^ife Three Underground Conditions Which Form

1

"^

a Trap for Oil

nonporous

Underground Pooh of Oil Oil

is

lighter than water.

For

this reason,

ground water are together in porous

When

on top of the water. water

rises,

the

rock above the

oil rises oil,

with

the

oil

when

oil

and

rocks, the oil floats

the level of the ground it.

If

there

is

only porous

can keep rising until

it

reaches the surface of the ground. This has happened in

some

places.

In most places where there rising oil reaches a layer of

reaches the surface.

rock that

is

sides

oil

not porous, so

Under some all

The

it

is oil

nonporous rock before

remains under

rock, so

14

it

cannot seep through the

conditions, the oil

by nonporous

in the ground, the

it

is

also

this layer.

surrounded on

cannot flow sideways.

rock

Then, unable to is

anymore

rise

or flow sideways, the oil

trapped in an underground pool.

Three underground conditions which can form a

shown

are

in the

drawings on page

14. In

trap for

oil

the

called an anticline, the layers of rock are folded

to

first,

form a bump. The nonporous layer above the

surrounds there

is

it

on

all sides.

In the second, called a fault,

a crack in the ground, and the rock on one side

of the crack has slid

upward along

the crack.

of nonporous rock nearest to the oil

One

part

is

seeping higher.

The

other part

two

parts.

stops

it

above the

one above the

gether to trap

in a

it

Natural gas ural gas in the

is

oil

layer

separated into

and

stops

alongside the

it

from

and

oil,

two

layers of

and one below

lighter than

it,

Where

oil.

come

there

ground together with the oil,

to-

is

water pushes up against the

and builds up a back

oil is

nat-

the gas

trapped under non-

trapped above the

sure from the rising water

oil,

is

just as the oil tends to rise

above the water. Where the porous rock, the gas

nonporous

dead end.

tends to rise above the

is

is

oil,

is

The

from flowing sideways. In the third condition,

called a stratigraphic trap, rock,

oil also

oil

and

oil

while the

from below. The presoil

compresses the gas

pressure. For this reason there

a high pressure in the gas that

oil.

15

is

trapped above the

where

oil is

produced now

where more

may

oi

be found

Oil in the United States

After the

first oil

well was drilled in Pennsylvania, in

1859, the hunt for States. Oil

oil

was found

spread throughout the United

in

Colorado in 1862, in Texas in

West Virginia and California in 1875 and in Ohio and Illinois in 1880. During the first part of the twentieth century, oil was discovered in Oklahoma (1905), Louisiana (1906) and Kansas (1916). California was the leading oil producer from 1903 to 1906. From 1907 to 1928 it was sometimes displaced as leader by Oklahoma. In 1928 Texas moved 1866, in

ahead, and has remained the leading oil-producing state ever since.

16

An

important

that there

is oil

new

discovery was made, in 1938,

under the continental

coast of the United States. drilled

was

in the

coast of Louisiana. coast

The

first

shelf just off the

offshore oil well

Gulf of Mexico, one mile

By

1971, offshore

oil

and natural gas used

the

from the Gulf

and the California coast supplied over

of the crude oil

off

one-sixth

in the

United

States.

Since 1968, Alaska has joined the ing states.

The

oil field

It

million barrels of crude

is

the largest in the

contains about 10 thousand oil

and about 26 million

lion cubic feet of natural gas. it is

of oil-produc-

discovered then near Prudhoe

Bay, 390 miles north of Fairbanks,

Western Hemisphere.

list

Great as

this

mil-

supply

is,

equal to only about what the United States con-

sumes

in

two

years. In 1972, the

sumed 5 thousand

United States con-

million barrels of oil

million million cubic feet of natural gas.

and about 23

The Oil

of the

Oil fields have been found in

Most

One

of the

of

underground

them

dering on

is

World

many parts

oil is in

of the world.

three oil-rich regions.

the Caribbean Sea and countries bor-

such as the United States, Mexico and

it,

Venezuela. Another

is

the Middle East, including the

Arabian countries and southern Russia. The third

is

North Africa. In 1972, the total

amount

known

of oil

ground was about 560 thousand million

to

be under-

barrels.

Middle East had about 330 thousand million

more than

or

half of

it.

The United

The

barrels,

had 36 thou-

States

sand million barrels, or about one-sixteenth of the

world supply.

Although the United States doesn't have the largest oil

supply in the ground,

it

produces and uses more

than any other country. In 1972

it

oil

produced 3 A thouY

sand million barrels. The next largest producers were the U.S.S.R., producing almost 3 thousand million barrels,

and Saudi Arabia, producing

barrels.

However,

produced twice

as

amount produced is

all

the Arabian countries together

much

as the

in a year

shown by the black

2!4 thousand million

United

States.

by each country

semicircles in the

19.

18

The

or region

map on page

production

World

Oil

Supply and Demand

^) consumption

J^P SOUTHEAST

EAST SOUTH AFRICA

AUSTRALIA

Oil

is

not always used where

amount used

it is

in a year in each country or region

shown by the white

semicircles in the

dle East uses only a small part of the

and

sells

very

the

little

rest.

is

map. The Midoil it

produces,

Japan and Western Europe produce

of the oil they use.

the Middle East.

The United

They buy most

3 /4 thousand million barrels. 2

of

it

from

States used about 5 thou-

sand million barrels in 1972, although

IV2

produced. The

It

had

it

produced only

to

buy the other

thousand million barrels from other countries.

19

Q

ASIA

V

Locating Oil

As the up, is

oil in

new

known

oil fields

pumped

oil fields is

have

to

out and used

be found. The search

for oil

guided by past experience. Past experience shows that

of rock

oil is

formed of mud, sand or

ancient seas. This type of rock rock. So the

geological

first

maps

found only in layers

shells piled is

up under

called sedimentary

step in a search for oil to locate a region

is

to

examine

where the under-

ground rocks are sedimentary. Past experience shows that

found

most

likely to

be

in sandstone or limestone. So, after a region of

sedimentary rock for oil

oil is

is

is

chosen, the second step in a search

to study the

ground

there, to look for clues

Using an Explosion to Locate Oil

20

that

show

that there

sandstone or limestone under-

is

ground. Past experience shows that traps of the kind described third step

is

may be an

usually found in

on pages 14 and

to look for signs

oil

oil is

15.

So the

on the surface that there

trap underground.

The fourth step is to try to "see" what is underground before trying to

a well. This

drill

from place

weaker

done with the help

With the magnetometer, the

of certain instruments.

geologist measures

is

how the earth's magnetism

to place

changes

on the ground. The magnetism

is

in sedimentary rocks than in other rocks.

An-

how

the

other instrument, the gravimeter, measures pull of gravity changes

from place to place on the

ground. The pull from sedimentary rocks

is

weaker

than from other rocks. The geologist can also "see"

how the rocks underground are arranged in layers, and can "see"

folds, faults

and

crossings in the layers

by

and then

re-

setting off small explosions in the ground,

cording the vibrations of the ground with a seismograph.

These four steps

The

fifth step,

there,

is

tell

which

the geologist where

tells for

to drill a well. Oil

is

sure whether

oil

may

oil is really

actually found in only one

well out of ten. Commercially usable amounts of are found in only one well out of

21

be.

fifty.

oil

Drilling for Oil

Most

drilling for oil

on Land

done by rotary

is

the bit that cuts into the rock

is

drilling in

which

rotated or turned.

dril1 bit

avf?av^i

,

teeth

The

bit

is

a short section of pipe with two or three

cones mounted at the end.

The cones have

them. As the bit turns, the cones

roll

teeth on

on the ground,

and the teeth bite into the rock and grind it into powder.

The bit is screwed into the end of a long drill pipe made up of sections of pipe that are joined by being screwed into a coupling. As the hole made by the drill grows deeper, new sections are joined to the

The top

of the drill pipe

shaped pipe called a

kelly.

is

drill pipe.

screwed into a square-

The

kelly passes through a

square hole in a turntable. As the turntable

by an engine, pipe, since

it

it is

makes the

Then

kelly turn.

is

turned

the

drill

attached to the kelly, also turns, and

the bit bites into the ground. As the into the hole, the kelly slides

down

drill

pipe descends

in the square hole

of the turntable.

While the

pumped

drilling goes on, a special

mud

is

The mud goes down the the bottom of the well. Then

into the drill pipe.

inside of the pipe to

kind of

22

between the outside

rises

it

of the

pipe and the rock wall of the well.

The mud

several purposes:

serves

the

It lubricates

and

drill bit

raises to the top the

it;

it

up

rock;

ground-

keeps ground water from

it

seeping into the well; and

weak

over

cools

it

plasters

spots in the wall of the

well.

At some

well, the wall

may need

port than the

mud

Then

deepening

levels of the

stronger sup-

alone can give

a wide pipe, called a casing,

it.

is

lowered into the well and cemented into place.

The

drill

pipe

then low-

is

ered into the casing to continue the drilling.

A face.

casing

Above

is

put in at the

also

this casing is a series of

They

valves that can be closed. called blowout preventers,

closed

if

are

and are

necessary to stop an uncon-

trolled flow of oil

from the

After the drilling ings are

sur-

cemented

for the well.

is

well.

done, more cas-

in place as a lining

A

Rotary Type Drilling Rig

Centennial school library SCIO. OREGON

Drilling for Oil at Sea

Offshore drilling

is

done from a platform, held in place

above the spot on the sea

floor

The platform may be

drilled.

ing on the sea

floor, or it

where the well

is

to

be

the top of a tower stand-

may be

the surface of a ship

held in place by anchors and cables, and steadied by propellers.

Some towers

are built with a platform at one

end

The tower, lying on its side, is towed to the drilling site. Then the barge end is made to sink to the sea floor. The platform end is supported at the surface by the rest of the tower strucand a barge

ture below

Some raised

at the other end.

it.

and lowered.

raised position, legs are

At that

made with legs that can be The platform, with legs in the

platforms are

is

towed

to the drilling site.

There the

lowered until they

rest

on the sea

offshore drilling

was

possible only in water

first,

was

less

equipment,

floor.

than 300 feet deep. Now, with improved

it is

possible to drill in water that

than a thousand feet deep.

24

is

more

A

Drilling Platform

A

Drilling Rig in

Being

Use

in

Towed

the North Sea

25

Giant

Pump

Out

Pumping Ground

for

of the

Oil

Bringing Oil to the Surface

The bottom oil

of an oil well

that surrounds

it

the casing and even

is

by the some

separated from the pool of casing, the

casing.

One way

of doing this

a special instrument that casing,

is

necessary to open

oil

can flow into the

to

lower into the well

fires steel bullets

cement and surrounding

once they

is

rock. It

up passages through which the

cement around

rock.

The

start flowing into the well, are

the top in tubing that

is

through the oil

and

gas,

brought to

lowered into the casing.

In a well that has natural gas as well as

some gas dissolved outside the

when

is

under high

the valves in the tubing are

open, the gas pressure forces the

oil

up and

out, the

gas pressure forces soda out of a soda bottle.

There too,

is

and there may be some

oil,

In either case, the gas

it.

pressure. Then,

way

there

but trapped and compressed in the

oil

space above

in the

oil,

is

up the

is

usually also water under the

under high pressure, and

is

oil.

The

water,

able to push the

oil

tubing.

After a well has been flowing for a long time, the pressure of the gas or water

down the

or stops.

oil to

falls,

Then pumps have

and the flow slows to

be used

to bring

the surface.

^^well

compressed gas

water

dissolved gas

Soda

Underground

Bottle

27

Oil Pool

What Is in Petroleum Petroleum

is

a mixture of

many

different chemical

compounds. Some of the compounds, called hydrocarbons, contain only hydrogen

and carbon. Others

contain, in addition, other elements such as oxygen,

nitrogen or sulfur.

made up of units called moleEach molecule is made up of atoms. In a hydro-

Each compound cules.

is

carbon molecule there are only hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms joined together by bonds.

atom has one or more hands with which

hand

of another

atom

can form four bonds.

to

A

It is as if it

A

form a bond.

each

can grasp a

carbon atom

hydrogen atom can form only

one bond. In the diagrams of molecules shown on pages 29 and 31, for a

C

stands for a carbon atom,

hydrogen atom and a

H stands

straight line stands for a

bond. In some hydrocarbon molecules found in petroleum, the carbon atoms are joined to each other in a straight chain, like people in a line holding hands.

Each carbon

atom, except those at the end of the chain,

two other carbon atoms, one on each carbon atom at the end of the chain

is

side of is

joined to it.

Each

joined to only

one other carbon atom. In addition, each carbon atom is

joined to enough hydrogen atoms to use 28

up the four

The

First

Four Paraffins

H methane

H-C-H

H H H 1

ethane

H-C C -H

HH 1

1

HHH propane

H

C-C C-H 1

1

butane

1

H H H HHH H HCC-C-C-H H HH H 29

bonds

atom

it

can make. Where there

in the molecule,

it

is

only one carbon

is

joined to four hydrogen

atoms. These straight-chain molecules are called par-

The four paraffins with the fewest carbon atoms per molecule—methane, ethane, propane and butaneare shown in the diagram on page 29. They are found in natural gas. The paraffin that has eight carbon atoms affins.

per molecule

is

called octane.

Some hydrocarbon molecules have two straight chains joined to each other to

chain.

An example

shown on page

or

more

form a branched

of a branched-chain molecule

31. Notice that, like butane,

it

has four

carbon atoms and ten hydrogen atoms, but in molecule they are arranged differently. For it is

is

this

this

reason

called isobutane.

In some hydrocarbon molecules, called naphthenes, the carbon atoms are joined together to form a closed ring.

The example shown on page 31

is

called cyclo-

hexane.

The hydrocarbon molecules described above

are

only the simplest of them. Petroleum also contains

more complicated molecules,

in

some

of

which there

are rings joined to rings.

Most its

of the weight of a molecule

is

contributed by

carbon atoms. The more carbon atoms a molecule

has, the heavier

it is.

At ordinary temperatures, the 30

heaviest hydrocarbon est are gases

and the

compounds are

solids,

the light-

rest are liquids. If the solids are

made hot enough, they melt into liquids. If the liquids are made hot enough, they evaporate into gases.

HH

H

H-C-C-C-H

H H H-CH H H H i

Isobutane, a Branched-chain Molecule

^C\ Oh /H H h-c v

H-C

H ^C /N H H

H H

Cyclohexane, a Ring-shaped Molecule

31

Refining Oil

Gasoline five to

is

a mixture of hydrocarbons that have from

eleven carbon atoms in each molecule.

duced from crude

three different

oil at refineries in

ways. In one process the gasoline that

in

is

separated from the other parts of the crude tional distillation. Gasoline

is

also

crude

oil is

by fracproduced by crackoil

which makes gasoline molecules from

ing,

pro-

It is

larger,

heavier hydrocarbon molecules by breaking them into

A

pieces.

third process, called polymerization,

gasoline molecules from smaller, lighter ones,

ing

them

boils to

lowed

oil is

join-

heated so that

produce a hot vapor. Then the vapor

to rise in a closed tower,

it rises.

by

together.

In fractional distillation, crude it

makes

As the vapor

cools,

it

and the vapor

is al-

cools as

begins to condense into

a liquid, but the heavier molecules condense

near

first,

the bottom of the tower, where the temperature higher.

The

lighter molecules

condense

later,

top of the tower, where the temperature

is

is

near the

lower.

The

drops of liquid that form are caught in trays, which are stacked inside the tower,

and flow from the

trays

through pipes. The heaviest liquid, which flows out at the bottom of the tower,

The

is

asphalt or heavy fuel

oil.

lighter liquids, flowing out at successively higher

32

gas

gas that cools the rising

vapors

asphalt or

heavy

tower

heater

levels, are lubricating oil,

kerosine and gasoline.

dense at

all

fuel oil

gas

oil,

diesel

The vapor

fuel

oil,

that doesn't con-

flows out of the top as a gas.

33

and

A

Tank Truck and Railroad Tank Car

Transporting Gas, Oil and Oil Products

Natural gas has to be sent from the

where

it is

oil

and gas

fields

taken out of the ground to the factories and

Most

cities

where

lines.

In 1971, there were 915,000 miles of natural gas

it is

used.

of

sent through pipe-

it is

pipelines in the United States. This

is

almost four times

the distance from here to the moon.

Crude fineries.

oil

has to be taken from the

Then

oil fields to

the re-

the products of the refineries have to be

taken to the places where they are used. Oil and

oil

products are carried overland by pipelines, railroad tank cars and tank trucks. They are carried across the sea in ocean tankers,

and on 34

lakes

and

rivers in barges.

In the United States there are 218,000 miles of pipeline for carrying

crude

oil

and liquid

of these pipelines carries gasoline

oil

from Texas to

York. Another one will be built to bring to the other states.

The

oil is

of

The

oil

oil

One

New

from Alaska

pushed through a pipeline

by pumps spaced out along the miles apart.

products.

line

about 50 to 150

moves through the

line at a

speed

two or three miles per hour.

The long,

largest

ocean tankers are more than 1,100 feet

and can carry up

to 2 SA million barrels of oil at a

time.

An

Oil

Tanker

35

Petrochemicals

Petroleum

is

not only a source of fuels like gasoline,

kerosine and fuel

oil.

making thousands

of useful products, including such

It is also

the

raw material

for

different things as rubber, paints, rayon, explosives,

food containers, antifreeze and phonograph records.

H

H

1

1

^1

c 1 1

H

-

c

Ethylene

1 1

H

^^

\

a food container

made from ethylene

CH

H-C =

Acetylene

acetic acid

The

first

step toward

making these products

is

to pro-

duce certain petrochemicals, each of which has many uses.

The

ene, a gas cule.

most important petrochemical

single

which has two carbon atoms

Some ethylene

cracked, and

more

pane. Ethylene

is

is

is

ethyl-

in each mole-

produced when petroleum

is

made from ethane and proused to make polyethylene, from of

it is

which food containers are made, and vinyl

chloride,

from which phonograph records and garden hoses are

made.

It is also

used to make rubber and antifreeze.

Ethyl alcohol, which used to be or molasses,

is

now made from 37

made

only from grain

ethylene, too.

Some

Products

Made from

Petrochemicals

38

Another important two-carbon petrochemical acetylene. It used to be

made

Now it is

only from coal.

made from methane. Products made from

acetylene

include acetic acid (the acid in vinegar) acetate ,

and vinyl

vinyl chloride

acetate,

is

from which

fiber,

plastics

and adhesives are made. Propylene it is

is

a three-carbon petrochemical.

is

a product of the cracking process,

made from propane. Propylene

tergents,

Some

and more

of

of it

products include de-

used for washing, and isopropyl alcohol, used

an antifreeze and for making acetone. Acetone,

as

which used

make

explosives, airplane "dopes,"

Butylene

rubber

and rayon.

made.

is

a six-carbon petrochemical in whose

is

molecules the

Benzene used

made from and

six

to

carbon atoms form a closed

be made only from

petroleum, too.

as a

Toluene

is

raw material

It is

for

coal,

Xylene

is

now

it is

making other products.

a seven-carbon ring petrochemical.

TNT

is

It is

made.

an eight-carbon ring petrochemical used

making paints and

called

but

ring.

used as a solvent, as a

the chemical from which the explosive

for

used to

is

a four-carbon petrochemical from which

is

Benzene

fuel

be made only from wood,

to

Dacron

in the

plastics,

and the

fiber that

is

United States and Terylene in

England.

39

Pollution Problems

Our use

of oil produces

many good

results. It gives

us

energy for heating our homes and running our ma-

And

chines.

products. But not

One

all

bad

results

ground and

sea,

and

when

is

oil

are good.

pollution, a spoiling of the

especially of the

air.

carried across the sea in tankers,

oil is

offshore wells are drilled at sea, there

times an accident, and floating

up on

useful petrochemical

the results of using

of the

When

many

gives us

it

on the water

shore,

it

oil is spilled.

kills fish

dirties

and

The

birds. If

is

and

some-

spilled oil

it is

washed

beaches and makes them unfit

The danger of oil spills creates the problem of finding ways of preventing them from happening and of cleaning up the oil quickly and thoroughly when they do happen. for use.

When is

oil is

burned

in

burned

and when gasoline

in a furnace

an automobile engine, some gases are

One

produced that dirty the

air.

bon monoxide, which

poisonous.

is

are hydrocarbons that can

amounts of hydrocarbon a

smog

off as oils

Some

make people and

lungs,

When these 40

oils

car-

ill.

Large

make

and may cut

as one-fourth of the sunlight.

contain sulfur.

is

of the gases

in the air of big cities

that irritates the eyes

much

of these gases

Some

fuel

are burned, the air

Dead Oil-soaked

Bird

Santa Barbara Beach, February 1969



is



dirtied

damages

>;*

by

sulfur dioxide,

clothing, paint

which hurts people and

and metal. Some gasoline

the past contained lead, which was put into

vent knocking in the engine. But, lead

is

burned, the lead

breathe, fuel oil

do

it

and lead

is

is

when

put into the

way

air that

that dirties the air as

oil

people

a dangerous poison. So, burning

In the United States, there are the burning of

to pre-

gasoline with

and gasoline creates the problem

in a

it

in

now

little

as possible.

laws forbidding

that has a lot of sulfur

line that contains lead.

of trying to

and

of gaso-

Other laws require that auto-

mobile makers reduce the amount of harmful gases a

new automobile

puts into the

41

air.

How Long Will Oil Last? The

oil

we take out

of the

millions of years ago. It

and we use the future

it

it

is

ground was made by nature not replaced as

at a faster rate every year.

will all

be gone, burned up

we use it up, Some time

in

in our furnaces

When will that be?

and automobiles.

To answer this question it is necessary to know how much oil there is in the ground, and how fast it is being used.

In the United States in 1972, the amount of

known

to

be

in the

ground

oil

in oil fields already dis-

covered was about 36 thousand million barrels. The oil

was being taken out

of the

ground and used

rate of 3 !/2 thousand million barrels a year. rate, the

known

be used up

oil

At

this

supply in the United States would

in eleven years.

However, new

are being discovered every year. last, at

at the

The

oil in

oil fields

them

will

most, another 120 years.

In 1972, the world supply of

oil in oil fields

already

discovered was 560 thousand million barrels, and

was being used barrels a year. oil will last

at the rate of 18V£

At

this rate the

only thirty years.

fields is likely to

it

thousand million

known world supply of The discovery of more

extend the time another thirty or forty

years at most.

42

The World's Energy Energy

is

used when people work to produce food,

clothing, houses tries,

and other useful

things. Rich coun-

which produce and use much, use up a

energy. Poor countries, which produce and use

use a smaller amount of energy.

A

richest countries of the

little,

large part of the

energy used comes from burning fuels

The

lot of

made from

oil.

world are the United

Japan and the countries of West-

States, the U.S.S.R.,

ern Europe. In 1972, together they had only onefourth of the world's population, but they used twothirds of the world's

oil.

The United

States alone

had

only one-eighteenth of the world's population, but

used one-fourth of the world's

oil.

But the poorer countries are now building more tories

and

railroads,

it

and are beginning

to use

fac-

more

automobiles and trucks. This means that they will be using more and more

oil

each year. As the poorer

countries begin to use a larger share of the world's

oil,

the richer countries will have to use a smaller share.

Meanwhile,

as

world industry and population grow,

the world's limited

and

faster.

There

oil

will

supply will be used up faster

be a shortage of

oil

during the

next thirty years throughout the world, and especially in the

United

States.

43

Oil Conservation

In 1972, the United States bought one-fourth of the oil it

used from other countries. In future years

have

to rely less

on

oil

produced

at

home. To make the home supply of

on

oil

or save oil as

much

necessary to conserve

it is

as possible.

An oil well flows as long as the pressure in it is enough

to

there

usually

is

can save

One way well.

far

push the

oil

some

of doing this

fast.

new ways

up.

When

The

is

to

same

oil

field

do not reduce the pres-

companies are also trying to find

of bringing

up more

can save gasoline and the

by driving no

We

water into the

oil.

We can also save oil by using less of we

is lost,

of this leftover oil up.

pump

so that they

strong

the ground.

to space wells at the

is

oil

the pressure

oil left in

by bringing some

enough apart

sure too

oil

still

Another way

will

imported from abroad and more

long as possible,

oil last as

it

faster than

oil

it.

On the road,

from which

it is

made

We

55 miles per hour.

can

save more by using small cars instead of large cars.

And we can

save

still

more by using buses and

more and using private save

oil

we can

oil

we can At home

cars less. In factories

by switching back save

trains

to coal as a fuel.

by not overheating our homes and by

not wasting electricity.

44

Oil for the Future

As we use up the supply

new

oil fields

A

ways

in the oil fields

new supply

part of this supply will

come from

it is

that will

be discovered during the next

ten or twenty years. But the

be used up

is

necessary to find a

already discovered, for the future.

of oil that

oil in

these

fields, too, will

in a short time. Fortunately, there are other

of getting oil besides

pumping it out

of an under-

ground pool.

£ coal

)

^

gas (methane)

/""""

~~~^

heated with

oil

hydrogen under

(light \

pressure

liquid

hydrocarbons)

^ ^ fi?

coke

Oil frorn Coal

45

In a few places there are deposits of sand and clay that are

gummy

tar sands.

washing

The

it

with

oil

oil.

These deposits are called

can be removed from tar sands by

out with hot water. There

is

enough

tar

sand in Canada to supply 400 thousand million barrels of

oil.

In

many

countries there are large amounts of a rock

called oil shale. Oil shale contains kerogen, which, like

petroleum, consists of the remains of small plants and animals that lived in ancient seas or lakes.

If oil shale

mined, crushed and heated, the process produces

is

shale oil from the kerogen. Shale oil can

be refined to

produce gasoline, kerosine, diesel fuel and

One

ton of the best

hundred gallons shale of the

shale can yield as

oil

of shale

oil. It is

oil

in the

supply

United

There are are

much

as

still

oil.

one

estimated that the

Rocky Mountains can supply about 2

lion million barrels of shale

the

jet fuel.

This

in the oil fields that

is

oil

mil-

over 50 times

have been found

States.

also

ways

of

now being made

methods of doing

it.

making

oil

from

to find the best

There are about

lion tons of coal in the

ground

in the

coal. Studies

and cheapest

IV2 million mil-

United

States.

amount can be mined and will probably be the raw material out of which most of the About one-third

oil

of this

of the future will

be made 46

in the

United

States.

Index Acetylene, 39 Asphalt,

6, 8,

Oil,

6

from

13

coal,

46

consumed in Benzene, 39 Branched-chain molecules, 30 Butane, 29-30

U.S., 16

early use, 8

found

in U.S., 16

future supply, 42, 44

Butylene, 39

offshore, 16,

24

Cracking, 32

32 searching for, 20 shortage, 43

Cyclohexane, 30-31

traps, 15, 21

refining,

Conservation, 44

Continental shelf, 16

Diesel

oil,

world production, 10 world supply, 18 world use, 19

12

Drilling, 8, 10

on land, 22 at sea,

30

Paraffins,

24

Petrochemicals, 13, 36-39

Energy, 43

Petroleum chemical nature, 28

consumed, 13 Ethane, 29-30

formation, 7

Ethylene, 37

Pitch, 8

Fractional distillation, 32

Pollution, 40-41

Fuel

Polymerization, 32

oil,

13

Propane, 29-30 Gasoline, 11

Propylene, 39

Gravimeter, 21

Ring molecules, 30 Hydrocarbons, 28

Sedimentary rock, 20 Kerosine, 10

Lubricating

Seismograph, 21 oil,

Shale

13

oil,

46

Straight-chain molecules, 30

Magnetometer, 21 Methane, 29-30

Tar sands, 46

Naphthenes, 30 Natural gas, 6,

Transportation, 34

Toluene, 39 13,

15 Wells, 26

Octane, 30 Xylene, 39

47

PICTURE CREDITS P.

9

By

the illustrator, Courtesy the

Humane

Society of

the United States P. P. P. P.

20 25 25 34

Courtesy Texaco, Inc.

Courtesy Bethlehem Steel Corp. Courtesy Exxon Courtesy Phillips Petroleum Co.

and API Photo

Library P.

P.

35 41

Courtesy American Petroleum Institute

EPA-Documerica— Dick Smith

48

CENTENNIAL SCHO SCIO,

OREGON

DATE DUE

ir.HSMiTH 4s-??n

About the Author Irving

many who made

Adler for

of teacher

years was the kind everything so clear

that students found themselves looking for-

ward to classes. He is able to create the same degree of enthusiasm in the readers of his over fifty books for young people. Mr. Adler explains

his writing

philosophy:

"How do you choose the topics for your books?" ask

one

is

of the questions people

me most often. The answer

this:

I

is

think of those things I've

wanted

to

know about,

out everything jects

I

I

then

I

simply

always

try to find

can about those sub-

believe children are interested

and can understand very profound scientific truths when those truths are in

presented

clearly

in

their

own

lan-

guage.

One

direct result of this philosophy

the initiation of The Reason Irving

and Ruth Adler, who worked

gether to write the series.

was

Why Series by

Irving

first thirty

Adler

has

books

in

continued

to-

the

the

series.

Mr. Adler

lives

in

North Bennington,

Vermont, where, when he takes care of /

proud.

his

isn't

writing,

garden— of which he

he is

The John Day Company

666

New

York,

Fifth

Avenue

New York 10019

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,

,

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