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Petrol and diesel are two common automobile fuels used for transportation. Light motor vehicles such as Motor cycles, Scooters and cars use petrol and Heavy motor vehicles such as Trucks, and Tractors run on diesel .Petrol and diesel are the two components obtained by the refining of petroleum.

Formation of Petroleum

Petroleum was formed from organisms living in the sea. As these organisms died, their bodies settled at the bottom of the sea and got covered with layers of sand and clay. Over millions of years, absence of air, high temperature and high pressure transformed the dead organisms into petroleum and natural gas.


Refining of Petroleum

Petroleum when drilled from the earth’s crust is a dark colored oily liquid consisting of mixture of hydrocarbons ,when it is refined ( Refining is a process in which a complex mixture of hydrocarbons are broken down in to simpler hydrocarbons ) consists of a number of constituents namely. petroleum gas, petrol, diesel, lubricating oil, paraffin wax, etc.

A petroleum refining factory


Petroleum separated in to various constituents by refining


Are many useful substances obtained from petroleum and natural gas. These are used in the manufacture of detergents, fibres (polyester, nylon, acrylic etc.), polythene and other man-made plastics. Hydrogen gas obtained from natural gas, is used in the production of fertilizers (urea). Due to its great commercial importance, petroleum is also called “Black Gold”.

Various constituents of petroleum and their uses.

S. No Constituents Uses
1 Petroleum gas in liquid form (L.P.G.) Fuel for Home and Industry.
2 Petrol Motor fuel, aviation fuel, solvent for dry cleaning.
3 Kerosene Fuel for stoves, lamps and for jet aircrafts
4 Diesel Fuel for heavy motor vehicles, electric vehicles, electric generators
5 Lubricating oil Lubrication
6 Paraffin wax Ointments, candles, Vaseline etc.
7 Bitumen Paints, road surfacing

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