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GCSE SCIENCE A

Chemistry
C1.4

Crude oil and fuels

Name: .

Date: ..

C1.4 Crude oil and fuels


Crude oil is derived from an ancient biomass found in rocks. Many useful materials
can be produced from crude oil. Crude oil can be fractionally distilled. Some of the
fractions can be used as fuels. Biofuels are produced from plant material. There are
advantages and disadvantages.
You should be able to:

evaluate the impact on the environment of burning hydrocarbon fuels

consider and evaluate the social, economic and environmental impacts of the
uses of fuels

evaluate developments in the production and uses of better fuels, for example
ethanol and hydrogen

know and understand the benefits and disadvantages of ethanol and


hydrogen as fuels in terms of:
o use of renewable resources
o storage and use of the fuels
o their products of combustion.

evaluate the benefits, drawbacks and risks of using plant materials to produce
fuels.

Key words
Crude oil
Compound
Mixture
Distillation
Hydrocarbons
Saturated
Alkanes
Covalent bond
Evaporating
Condense
Fractional distillation
Fractionating column
Particulates
Combustion
Soot
Biofuels

Chemicals
Elements
Sulfur
Carbon
Hydrogen
Compounds
Methane
Ethane
Propane
Butane
Carbon dioxide
Carbon monoxide
Sulfur dioxide
Nitrogen oxides
Ethanol

C1.4.1

Crude oil

a) Crude oil is a mixture of a very large number of compounds.


b) A mixture consists of two or more elements or compounds not chemically combined
together. The chemical properties of each substance in the mixture are unchanged. It is
possible to separate the substances in a mixture by physical methods including distillation.

c) Most of the compounds in crude oil consist of molecules made up of hydrogen and carbon
atoms only (hydrocarbons). Most of these are saturated hydrocarbons called alkanes, which
have the general formula CnH2n+2
a) Alkane molecules can be represented in the following forms:

n=1

n=2

n=3

n=4

C1.4.2

Hydrocarbons

b) The many hydrocarbons in crude oil may be separated into fractions, each of which
contains molecules with a similar number of carbon atoms, by evaporating the oil and
allowing it to condense at a number of different temperatures.
This process is fractional distillation.

Candidates should know and understand the main processes in continuous fractional
distillation in a fractionating column.
c) Some properties of hydrocarbons depend on the size of their molecules.

Fraction
Petroleum
gas
Naphtha
Petrol
Kerosene
(paraffin)
Diesel
Oil
Bitumen

Number
Carbon
atoms
1 to 4
5 to 9
5 to 10
10 to 16
14 - 20
20 - 50
50 or more

of
Use
Heating and cooking
Making other chemicals
Fuel for cars and light
aeroplanes
Fuel for jet or turbine
aeroplanes
Diesel fuel or heating
Lubricating oil
Making roads

These properties influence how hydrocarbons are used as fuels.


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C1.4.3

Hydrocarbons fuels

a) Most fuels, including coal, contain carbon and/or hydrogen and may also contain some
sulfur.
The gases released into the atmosphere when a fuel burns may include:
carbon dioxide
water (vapour)
carbon monoxide
sulfur dioxide and
oxides of nitrogen.
Solid particles (particulates - sometimes called soot) may also be released.

b) The combustion of hydrocarbon fuels releases energy. During combustion the carbon and
hydrogen in the fuels are oxidised.
c) Sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen cause acid rain, carbon dioxide causes global
warming, and solid particles cause global dimming.
d) Sulfur can be removed from fuels before they are burned, for example in vehicles. Sulfur
dioxide can be removed from the waste gases after combustion, for example in power
stations.

e) Biofuels, including biodiesel and ethanol, are produced from plant material.
There are economic, ethical and environmental issues surrounding their use.

GCSE style questions Crude oil

Q1. (a)

Complete this sentence about crude oil.

Crude oil is mainly a mixture of compounds called ...................................... which


contain carbon and hydrogen only.
(b)

The diagram shows a laboratory experiment used to separate crude oil.

Complete each sentence by choosing the correct words from the box.

condensation

distillation
melting

evaporation
sublimation

The main process taking place at A is .......................................................................


The main process taking place at B is .......................................................................
This method of separating crude oil is called ............................................................
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(c) Complete this sentence by crossing out the word in each box that is wrong. The first
one has been done for you.

This method of separating crude oil works because the

are, the

Q2.

their boiling point and the

the molecules

volatile they are.

Crude oil is a mixture of mostly alkanes.

(a)

Crude oil is separated into useful fractions by fractional distillation.

(i)

Describe and explain how the mixture of alkanes is separated by fractional distillation.

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(ii)

The table gives the name and formula for each of the first three alkanes.

Complete the table to show the formula of butane.


Name of alkane
Methane

CH4

Ethane

C2H6

Propane

C3H8

Butane

Formula

(b)

The structural formula of methane, CH4, is:

Draw the structural formula of propane, C3H8

(c) The relative amounts of and the market demand for some hydrocarbons from the
fractional distillation of crude oil are shown in the graph.

(i)
Why is the market demand for the C5 C8 fraction higher than the market demand for
the C21 C24 fraction?
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(ii) Cracking is used to break down large hydrocarbon molecules into smaller
hydrocarbon molecules.
Complete the symbol equation by writing in the formula of the other hydrocarbon.
C20H42 C16H34 + 2 ..........................................
(1)
(iii)

The C5 C8 fraction has low supply and high market demand.

Suggest three ways in which the oil industry could overcome this problem.
1 .........................................................................................................................
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2 .........................................................................................................................
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3 .......................................................................................................................
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Q3.
(a)

Crude oil is a natural resource from which useful fuels can be separated.
Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons.

Complete the sentence about a hydrocarbon molecule.


A hydrocarbon molecule is made up of ....................................... and carbon atoms only.
(b)

Many fuels come from crude oil. Some of these fuels are shown in the diagram.

Suggest two properties of these fuels that allow them to be separated from crude oil.
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(c)

Fuels from crude oil burn to provide heat energy.

When a fuel burns, it combines with oxygen in the air and produces carbon dioxide
and water. When there is not enough oxygen, the fuel burns and also produces carbon
monoxide and carbon particles.
Draw a straight line from each substance that links it to a possible environmental
problem. One has been done for you.

Q4.

Most plastic bags are made from poly(ethene).

Poly(ethene) is a polymer made from ethene.


Ethene is made by cracking saturated hydrocarbons from crude oil.
(a)

Use words from the box to complete the sentences about cracking.

alkanes

alkenes

catalyst

fuel

gas

Cracking involves heating the .......................................... to make a vapour.


The vapour is either passed over a hot ............................................... or mixed
with steam and heated to a very high temperature so that thermal decomposition
reactions happen.
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(b) Poly(ethene) molecules are made from ethene molecules by a polymerisation


reaction.
Describe what happens in a polymerisation reaction.
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(c) In this question you will be assessed on using good English, organising information
clearly and using specialist terms where appropriate.
There are millions of plastic bags in use. After use most of these plastic bags are buried in
landfill sites. The amount sent to landfill could be reduced if the plastic bags:

could be reused
could be recycled by melting and making into new plastic products
could be burned to release energy

Use the information above and your knowledge and understanding to give the positive and
negative environmental impacts of using these methods to reduce the amount of plastic
bags sent to landfill.
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Q 5. The table gives some information about a family of molecules in crude oil.
NUMBER OF CARBON ATOMS
IN MOLECULE

MASS OF MOLECULE
(atomic units)

16

30

58

(a)

Show information from the table in the most appropriate way on the grid.

(b)

What is the mass of a molecule with three carbon atoms?

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(c)

The other atoms in each molecule are all hydrogen atoms.

What family of substances do all the molecules belong to?


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(d)

The mass of a carbon atom is 12 atomic units.

The mass of a hydrogen atom is 1 atomic unit.


So the molecule with one carbon atom has four hydrogen atoms.
Its formula is CH4.
Write down the formula:
(i)

of the molecule with two carbon atoms

(ii)

of a molecule from the same family with five carbon atoms

Q6.

The table shows some information about alkanes.

......................

Name

Formula

Relative formula mass

Boiling point in C

methane

CH4

16

160

ethane

C2H6

30

90

44

40

propane

(a)

......................

butane

C4H10

58

pentane

C5H12

72

36

hexane

C6H14

86

68

Give the formula of propane.

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(b) (i)
What happens to the boiling points of the alkanes as the relative formula
mass increases?
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Draw a graph. Plot the points and draw a best fit line.

(iii)

What is the boiling point of butane?

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(iv)

Show clearly on the graph how you found the boiling point of butane.

(c)

Circle which of the following is not an alkane.


C71116

15

C9H18

C11H24

C24H50

Q7.
(a)
oil?

Crude oil contains many useful substances.


What is the name of the process used to separate the useful substances from crude

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(2)
(b)

Table 1 gives some information about some of the useful substances obtained from

crude oil.
Table 1
Number of
carbon atoms

Boiling point (C)

Viscosity (cP)

Refinery gas

14

< 30

0.009

Petrol

410

50

0.5

Naptha

611

130

0.9

Kerosene

1016

200

2.5

Diesel fuel

1620

260

6.2

Lubricating oil

2040

310

22.7

Substance

Describe the trends shown in the table.


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(c)

The relative amounts of substances obtained from crude oil are given in Table 2.
Table 2
Substance

Relative % in crude oil

Relative % demand

Petrol

10

20

Kerosene

15

23

Diesel

20

25

Fuel oil

45

12

Suggest why petrol costs more than fuel oil.


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Q8.

Fuel scientists develop and blend fuels for use in motor vehicles.

A good fuel has the following characteristics:

volatile
easy to ignite
produces a large amount of energy when it burns
produces the minimum amount of pollution.

Information about some of the hydrocarbons that are found in petrol is given in the table.

Name

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Chemical formula

Melting point in C

Boiling point in C

Butane

C4H10

138

Pentane

C5H12

130

36

Hexane

C6H14

95

69

(a)

(i)

Which hydrocarbon in the table is a gas at room temperature?

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(ii)

Hydrocarbons are compounds with low boiling points.

Explain why hydrocarbons have low boiling points.


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(b)

Heptane is a hydrocarbon. It has molecules containing 7 carbon atoms.

Suggest the chemical formula for heptane.


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(c) A fuel scientist recommended increasing the amount of butane and decreasing the
amount of hexane in petrol that is used in the UK in winter.
Use the information in the table to explain why.
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(d) Balanced equations for the complete combustion of butane and pentane are given
below.
C4H10 + 6O2 4CO2 + 5H2O
C5H12 + 8O2 5CO2 + 6H2O
(i)

Write a balanced equation for the combustion of hexane.

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(ii)

Describe the pattern in the number of molecules in these equations.

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(e)

Suggest why incomplete combustion occurs in a car engine.

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Q9.
Useful fuels can be produced from crude oil. Crude oil is a mixture of
hydrocarbons.
(a)

The table shows the boiling points of four of these hydrocarbons.

Tick (

Hydrocarbon

Boiling point in C

methane, CH4

162

butane, C4H10

pentane, C5H12

+36

decane, C10H22

+175

) two statements that are correct about these hydrocarbons.


Statement

Tick (

decane has the largest molecules


pentane is a liquid at 40C
methane and butane are gases at 20C
methane has the highest boiling point
butane does not boil

(b)

Natural gas supplied to homes and schools is mainly methane.

The diagram shows an apparatus to investigate the two substances produced when natural
gas burns completely in air.

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(i)

Name the liquid that collects in the U-tube. .............................................................

(ii)

Name the gas that turns the limewater cloudy .........................................................

(c)

Some crude oil contains sulfur. Petrol and diesel fuels are produced from crude oil.

The sulfur must be removed from these fuels before they are burned.
Explain why.
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Q10.

(a)

The hydrocarbon C16H34 was heated strongly in the absence of air.

This is one of the reactions which took place:


C16H34

C6H14

C6H12

2C2H4

This type of reaction is carried out because there is a greater demand for the products than
for the original hydrocarbon.
Suggest two reasons for this.
1 .................................................................................................................................
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2 .................................................................................................................................
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(b)

A molecule of the compound methane, CH4, can be shown like this:

Draw a molecule of the compound ethene, C2H4.

(c) Small molecules of substances called monomers can be joined together in


polymerisation, eg. ethene poly (ethene).
(i)
Complete the equation below to show formation of the polymer from the monomer
propene.

(ii)

Suggest the name of the polymer formed.

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Q11.
(i)

(a)

Alkenes can be made by cracking large alkane molecules.

Explain how the cracking process is carried out.

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(ii) Give a chemical test which would show the difference between an alkene and an
alkane.
Test ..................................................................................................................
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Result of test ....................................................................................................


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(b)

Alkenes, such as ethene, can be made into polymers.

(i)
Complete the following to show how the ethene molecules bond to form part of a
polymer.

(ii)

Name the polymer formed from ethene.

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(iii)

Explain one important problem caused by the everyday use of this polymer.

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Q12.
One reason the oil industry is important is that it uses crude oil to produce many
of the plastic materials we use in everyday life.
(a) The first stage in the formation of a plastic material is called cracking. Butane (C4H10),
a hydrocarbon in crude oil, can be cracked to produce two different hydrocarbons, ethane
(C2H6) and ethene (C2H4)
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(i)

For cracking to happen what needs to be done to the hydrocarbon?

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(ii)

Complete the equation for the cracking of butane using displayed formulae.

(iii) Complete the balanced chemical equation far the complete combustion of ethane in
oxygen.
............C2H6(g) + ............(g) ............(g) + ............(l)
(3)
(b)

The second stage is the formation of the plastic material by polymerisation.

Describe how ethene (C2H4) forms poly(ethene). You do not need to give the reaction
conditions or the names of catalysts.
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