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How petrol and diesel made and what are in them?

How petrol and diesel made and what are in them?
Nicola from Cambridgeshire (Aged 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Hi Nicola,

    This is as good question, our everyday lives are increasingly dependant upon these fuels and a lot of us take them for granted.

    To understand petrol and diesel we must first look at oil.

    Oil is a flammable liquid which occurs naturally and is found in rock formations in the Earth. This liquid consists of a mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and some other organic compounds. A hydrocarbon is simply a compound made up of only hydrogen and carbon.

    Petroleum is a type of oil which is found in porous rock formations in the upper strata of some areas of the Earth’s crust. The hydrocarbons present in petroleum can be converted into energy-rich fuels including petrol and diesel. Diesel being a distilled form of processed fuel oil for use in a diesel engine, acquiring its name from German engineer Rudolf Diesel.

    Hope this helps!

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