Oil

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A bottle of olive oil used in food Italian olive oil 2007.jpg
A bottle of olive oil used in food

An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is composed primarily of hydrocarbons and is hydrophobic (does not mix with water) & lipophilic (mixes with other oils). Oils are usually flammable and surface active. Most oils are unsaturated lipids that are liquid at room temperature.

Contents

The general definition of oil includes classes of chemical compounds that may be otherwise unrelated in structure, properties, and uses. Oils may be animal, vegetable, or petrochemical in origin, and may be volatile or non-volatile. [1] They are used for food (e.g., olive oil), fuel (e.g., heating oil), medical purposes (e.g., mineral oil), lubrication (e.g. motor oil), and the manufacture of many types of paints, plastics, and other materials. Specially prepared oils are used in some religious ceremonies and rituals as purifying agents.

Etymology

First attested in English 1176, the word oil comes from Old French oile, from Latin oleum, [2] which in turn comes from the Greek ἔλαιον (elaion), "olive oil, oil" [3] and that from ἐλαία (elaia), "olive tree", "olive fruit". [4] [5] The earliest attested forms of the word are the Mycenaean Greek 𐀁𐀨𐀺, e-ra-wo and 𐀁𐁉𐀺, e-rai-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script. [6]

Types

Organic oils

Organic oils are produced in remarkable diversity by plants, animals, and other organisms through natural metabolic processes. Lipid is the scientific term for the fatty acids, steroids and similar chemicals often found in the oils produced by living things, while oil refers to an overall mixture of chemicals. Organic oils may also contain chemicals other than lipids, including proteins, waxes (class of compounds with oil-like properties that are solid at common temperatures) and alkaloids.

Lipids can be classified by the way that they are made by an organism, their chemical structure and their limited solubility in water compared to oils. They have a high carbon and hydrogen content and are considerably lacking in oxygen compared to other organic compounds and minerals; they tend to be relatively nonpolar molecules, but may include both polar and nonpolar regions as in the case of phospholipids and steroids. [7]

Mineral oils

Crude oil, or petroleum, and its refined components, collectively termed petrochemicals , are crucial resources in the modern economy. Crude oil originates from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil. [8] The name "mineral oil" is a misnomer, in that minerals are not the source of the oil—ancient plants and animals are. Mineral oil is organic. However, it is classified as "mineral oil" instead of as "organic oil" because its organic origin is remote (and was unknown at the time of its discovery), and because it is obtained in the vicinity of rocks, underground traps, and sands. Mineral oil also refers to several specific distillates of crude oil.[ citation needed ]

Applications

Cooking

Several edible vegetable and animal oils, and also fats, are used for various purposes in cooking and food preparation. In particular, many foods are fried in oil much hotter than boiling water. Oils are also used for flavoring and for modifying the texture of foods (e.g. stir fry). Cooking oils are derived either from animal fat, as butter, lard and other types, or plant oils from olive, maize, sunflower and many other species. [9]

Cosmetics

Oils are applied to hair to give it a lustrous look, to prevent tangles and roughness and to stabilize the hair to promote growth. See hair conditioner.[ citation needed ]

Religion

Oil has been used throughout history as a religious medium. It is often considered a spiritually purifying agent and is used for anointing purposes. As a particular example, holy anointing oil has been an important ritual liquid for Judaism [10] and Christianity. [11]

Painting

Color pigments are easily suspended in oil, making it suitable as a supporting medium for paints. The oldest known extant oil paintings date from 650 AD. [12]

Heat transfer

Oils are used as coolants in oil cooling, for instance in electric transformers. Heat transfer oils are used both as coolants (see oil cooling), for heating (e.g. in oil heaters) and in other applications of heat transfer.[ citation needed ]

Lubrication

Synthetic motor oil Motor oil.jpg
Synthetic motor oil

Given that they are non-polar, oils do not easily adhere to other substances. This makes them useful as lubricants for various engineering purposes. Mineral oils are more commonly used as machine lubricants than biological oils are. Whale oil is preferred for lubricating clocks, because it does not evaporate, leaving dust, although its use was banned in the USA in 1980. [13]

It is a long-running myth that spermaceti from whales has still been used in NASA projects such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Voyager probe because of its extremely low freezing temperature. Spermaceti is not actually an oil, but a mixture mostly of wax esters, and there is no evidence that NASA has used whale oil. [14]

Fuel

Some oils burn in liquid or aerosol form, generating light, and heat which can be used directly or converted into other forms of energy such as electricity or mechanical work. In order to obtain many fuel oils, crude oil is pumped from the ground and is shipped via oil tanker or a pipeline to an oil refinery. There, it is converted from crude oil to diesel fuel (petrodiesel), ethane (and other short-chain alkanes), fuel oils (heaviest of commercial fuels, used in ships/furnaces), gasoline (petrol), jet fuel, kerosene, benzene (historically), and liquefied petroleum gas. A 42-US-gallon (35 imp gal; 160 L) barrel of crude oil produces approximately 10 US gallons (8.3 imp gal; 38 L) of diesel, 4 US gallons (3.3 imp gal; 15 L) of jet fuel, 19 US gallons (16 imp gal; 72 L) of gasoline, 7 US gallons (5.8 imp gal; 26 L) of other products, 3 US gallons (2.5 imp gal; 11 L) split between heavy fuel oil and liquified petroleum gases, [15] and 2 US gallons (1.7 imp gal; 7.6 L) of heating oil. The total production of a barrel of crude into various products results in an increase to 45 US gallons (37 imp gal; 170 L). [15]

In the 18th and 19th centuries, whale oil was commonly used for lamps, which was replaced with natural gas and then electricity. [16]

Chemical feedstock

Crude oil can be refined into a wide variety of component hydrocarbons. Petrochemicals are the refined components of crude oil [17] and the chemical products made from them. They are used as detergents, fertilizers, medicines, paints, plastics, synthetic fibers, and synthetic rubber.

Organic oils are another important chemical feedstock, especially in green chemistry.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Petroleum</span> Naturally occurring flammable liquid

Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of mainly hydrocarbons, and is found in geological formations. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that consist of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, mostly zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both prolonged heat and pressure.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wax</span> Class of organic compounds which are malleable at room temperature

Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give low viscosity liquids. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents. Natural waxes of different types are produced by plants and animals and occur in petroleum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oil refinery</span> Facility that processes crude oil

An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where petroleum is transformed and refined into useful products such as gasoline (petrol), diesel fuel, asphalt base, fuel oils, heating oil, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas and petroleum naphtha. Petrochemicals feedstock like ethylene and propylene can also be produced directly by cracking crude oil without the need of using refined products of crude oil such as naphtha. The crude oil feedstock has typically been processed by an oil production plant. There is usually an oil depot at or near an oil refinery for the storage of incoming crude oil feedstock as well as bulk liquid products. In 2020, the total capacity of global refineries for crude oil was about 101.2 million barrels per day.

A fuel tax is an excise tax imposed on the sale of fuel. In most countries the fuel tax is imposed on fuels which are intended for transportation. Fuels used to power agricultural vehicles, and/or home heating oil which is similar to diesel are taxed at a different, usually lower rate. The fuel tax receipts are often dedicated or hypothecated to transportation projects so that the fuel tax is considered by many a user fee. In other countries, the fuel tax is a source of general revenue. Sometimes, the fuel tax is used as an ecotax, to promote ecological sustainability. Fuel taxes are often considered by government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service as regressive taxes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Synthetic oil</span> Lubricant consisting of artificially made chemical compounds

Synthetic oil is a lubricant consisting of chemical compounds that are artificially modified or synthesised. Synthetic lubricants can be manufactured using chemically modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil, but can also be synthesized from other raw materials. The base material, however, is still overwhelmingly crude oil that is distilled and then modified physically and chemically. The actual synthesis process and composition of additives is generally a commercial trade secret and will vary among producers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barrel (unit)</span> Series of units for volume measurement

A barrel is one of several units of volume applied in various contexts; there are dry barrels, fluid barrels, oil barrels, and so forth. For historical reasons the volumes of some barrel units are roughly double the volumes of others; volumes in common use range approximately from 100 to 200 litres. In many connections the term drum is used almost interchangeably with barrel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barrel</span> Hollow cylindrical container

A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it is wide. They are traditionally made of wooden staves and bound by wooden or metal hoops. The word vat is often used for large containers for liquids, usually alcoholic beverages; a small barrel or cask is known as a keg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Drum (container)</span> Cylinderical shipping container used for shipping bulk cargo

A drum is a cylindrical shipping container used for shipping bulk cargo. Drums can be made of steel, dense paperboard, or plastic, and are generally used for the transportation and storage of liquids and powders. Drums are often stackable, and have dimensions designed for efficient warehouse and logistics use. This type of packaging is frequently certified for transporting dangerous goods. Proper shipment requires the drum to comply with all applicable regulations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark 77 bomb</span>

The Mark 77 bomb (MK-77) is a United States 750-pound (340 kg) air-dropped incendiary bomb carrying 110 U.S. gallons of a fuel gel mix which is the direct successor to napalm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tank car</span> Train car for holding liquids and gases

A tank car is a type of railroad car or rolling stock designed to transport liquid and gaseous commodities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Petroleum product</span> Products ultimately derived from crude oil

Petroleum products are materials derived from crude oil (petroleum) as it is processed in oil refineries. Unlike petrochemicals, which are a collection of well-defined usually pure organic compounds, petroleum products are complex mixtures. The majority of petroleum is converted to petroleum products, which includes several classes of fuels.

Shale oil is an unconventional oil produced from oil shale rock fragments by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. These processes convert the organic matter within the rock (kerogen) into synthetic oil and gas. The resulting oil can be used immediately as a fuel or upgraded to meet refinery feedstock specifications by adding hydrogen and removing impurities such as sulfur and nitrogen. The refined products can be used for the same purposes as those derived from crude oil.

Whale oil is oil obtained from the blubber of whales. Whale oil from the bowhead whale was sometimes known as train oil, which comes from the Dutch word traan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tank truck</span> Motor vehicle designed to carry liquefied loads, dry bulk cargo or gases on roads

A tank truck, gas truck, fuel truck, or tanker truck or tanker is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquids or gases on roads. The largest such vehicles are similar to railroad tank cars, which are also designed to carry liquid loads. Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids that can be transported. Tank trucks tend to be large; they may be insulated or non-insulated; pressurized or non-pressurized; and designed for single or multiple loads. Some are semi-trailer trucks. They are difficult to drive and highly susceptible to rollover due to their high center of gravity, and potentially the free surface effect of liquids sloshing in a partially filled tank.

Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is a term used for any mixture of hydrocarbons that are found in crude oil. There are several hundred of these compounds, but not all occur in any one sample. Crude oil is used to make petroleum products, which can contaminate the environment. Because there are so many different chemicals in crude oil and in other petroleum products, it is not practical to measure each one separately. However, it is useful to measure the total amount of TPH at a site. Chemicals that occur in TPH include hexane, benzene, toluene, xylenes, naphthalene, and fluorene, other constituents of gasoline, jet fuels, mineral oils, and of other petroleum products. Petroleum Hydrocarbon ranges are monitored at various levels depending on the state and testing site.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vaseline</span> Brand of petroleum jelly–based products

Vaseline is an American brand of petroleum jelly-based products owned by transnational company Unilever. Products include plain petroleum jelly and a selection of skin creams, soaps, lotions, cleansers, and deodorants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Petroleum refining processes</span>

Petroleum refining processes are the chemical engineering processes and other facilities used in petroleum refineries to transform crude oil into useful products such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline or petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel oil and fuel oils.

The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), also known as the National Oil Company of Uganda, is a limited liability petroleum company in Uganda owned by the Ugandan government. The 2013 Petroleum Act of Uganda provides for the establishment of the national oil company. UNOC's board of directors was inaugurated on 23 October 2015 by the president of Uganda.

Petroleomics is the identification of the totality of the constituents of naturally occurring petroleum and crude oil using high resolution mass spectrometry. In addition to mass determination, petroleomic analysis sorts the chemical compounds into heteroatom class, type. The name is a combination of petroleum and -omics.

References

  1. "oil" . Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. oleum . Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary on Perseus Project .
  3. ἔλαιον . Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  4. ἐλαία  in Liddell and Scott.
  5. Harper, Douglas. "oil". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  6. "The Linear B word e-ra-wo". Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of ancient languages. "e-ra3-wo". Archived from the original on 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2014-03-22.Raymoure, K.A. "e-ra-wo". Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B. Deaditerranean. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  7. Alberts, Bruce; Johnson, Alexander; Lewis, Julian; Raff, Martin; Roberts, Keith; Walter, Peter. Molecular Biology of the Cell. New York: Garland Science, 2002, pp. 62, 118-119.
  8. Kvenvolden, Keith A. (2006). "Organic geochemistry – A retrospective of its first 70 years". Organic Geochemistry. 37: 1. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2005.09.001. S2CID   95305299.
  9. Brown, Jessica. "Which cooking oil is the healthiest?". www.bbc.com. BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  10. Chesnutt, Randall D. (January 2005). "Perceptions of Oil in Early Judaism and the Meal Formula in Joseph and Aseneth". Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha. 14 (2): 113–132. doi:10.1177/0951820705051955. ISSN   0951-8207. S2CID   161240989.
  11. Sahagun, Louis (2008-10-11). "Armenian priests journey for jars of holy oil". Los Angeles Times.
  12. "Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Afghanistan", Rosella Lorenzi, Discovery News. Feb. 19, 2008. Archived June 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Bavarian Clock Haus and Frankenmuth Clock Company". Frankenmuth Clock Company & Bavarian Clock Haus.
  14. "Troubled waters: Who Would Believe NASA Used Whale Oil on Voyager and Hubble?". Knight Science Journalism at MIT. Archived from the original on 2015-02-15. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  15. 1 2 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Archived 2018-05-02 at the Wayback Machine — Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  16. "Whale Oil". petroleumhistory.org.
  17. Kostianoy, Andrey G.; Lavrova, Olga Yu (2014-07-08). Oil Pollution in the Baltic Sea. Springer. ISBN   9783642384769.