Journey to The Road, Part 1: OIL
How is oil – also known as black gold – harvested from the earth? What journey does petroleum take to be refined enough to lubricate a car’s engine?
A lot of work goes into extracting oil, and we thought it would be educational to share with you how petroleum goes all the way from an oil field to being poured into an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle. Allow Switch Vehicles to take you on this journey and show the future of automotive.
Journey To The Road: Oil Production
Oil, also known as petroleum or black gold, is a fossil fuel harvested from the earth and refined for various applications, including as a lubricant for internal combustion engines. But how is the oil extracted from the ground and refined for vehicle use? This article will explore petroleum’s journey from an oil field to being poured into an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle.
Oil is typically found in reservoirs deep beneath the earth’s surface, often located beneath layers of rock and sediment. To extract the oil, drilling rigs bore holes into the soil and reached the oil reservoirs. Once the oil is located, it is pumped to the surface using specialized equipment.
After the oil has been extracted from the ground, it must be transported to a refinery. Once at the refinery, it can be processed and refined. This is typically done using pipelines, tankers, or other transportation methods.
The oil is subjected to a series of processes at the refinery to remove impurities and extract useful products such as gasoline, diesel, and lubricating oils. The first step in refining is typically distillation, in which the oil is heated to a high temperature, and the resulting vapors are collected and condensed into various fractions.
The next step in the refining process is conversion, in which the various fractions are converted into more valuable products through a series of chemical reactions. For example, gasoline is produced by converting the fraction known as naphtha, while diesel is produced by converting the fraction known as gas oil.
Once the refining process is complete, the various products, including lubricating oils, are shipped to distribution centers where they can be bottled and sold to consumers. Lubricating oils are used in various applications, including as a lubricant for internal combustion engines.
To use oil as a lubricant in an engine, you must first pour it into its oil pan, located at the bottom of the engine. From there, it is pumped through the engine using the oil pump, which is driven by the engine’s crankshaft. As the oil is pumped through the machine, it lubricates the various moving parts, reducing friction and wear.
Oil can become contaminated with dirt, debris, and other impurities over time and break down and lose its lubricating properties. It is essential to regularly change the oil in an ICE vehicle to ensure that it continues to provide proper lubrication and protect the engine from wear and damage. Changing the oil regularly helps to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently.
In conclusion, oil is a vital resource harvested from the earth and refined for use in ICE vehicles. Regular oil changes are essential for maintaining the health and efficiency of an ICE vehicle’s engine. The journey that petroleum takes from an oil field to being poured into an ICE vehicle involves extraction, transportation, refining, and distribution.
What have we learned about oil’s journey to the road?
- Oil is a fossil fuel that is harvested from the earth and refined for use in a variety of applications, including as a lubricant for internal combustion engines
- Oil is extracted from the ground using drilling rigs and pumped to the surface using specialized equipment
- Oil is transported to a refinery where it is processed and refined into various products, including gasoline, diesel, and lubricating oils
- Lubricating oils are used in a variety of applications, including as a lubricant for internal combustion engines
- Lubricating oils must be regularly changed in internal combustion engines to ensure proper lubrication and protect the engine from wear and damage.
If oil is a fossil fuel that can damage the planet through climate change, how can electric vehicles reduce the amount of oil used?
Electric vehicles (EVs) can help reduce the amount of oil used in transportation by providing an alternative to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, which rely on fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, and diesel.
Unlike ICE vehicles, which convert chemical energy stored in fossil fuels into mechanical energy to power the engine, EVs use electricity to power an electric motor, which drives the vehicle. This electricity can be generated from various sources, including renewable energy such as solar or wind power, which do not produce greenhouse gasses and contribute to climate change.
Using electricity to power their motors, EVs can significantly reduce the amount of oil used in transportation and help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Studies have shown that EVs can produce up to 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than ICE vehicles over their lifetimes, depending on the source of the electricity used to charge them.
In addition to reducing oil use and greenhouse gas emissions, EVs can provide other environmental benefits. For example, they do not produce tailpipe emissions, which can improve air quality in urban areas. They also have the potential to reduce noise pollution, as they operate much more quietly than ICE vehicles.
Overall, the adoption of EVs has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of oil used in transportation and help mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
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