Oil refinery

Oil refinery

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Credit: PAUL RAPSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Oil refinery silhouetted against the setting sun. An electricity pylon is at lower centre. An oil refinery is where crude oil is separated (refined) into parts (fractions), producing fuels such as diesel and petrol, as well as other products. The crude oil is refined in tall fractionating towers called pipestills, some of which are seen here. Other structures are used to process and purify the crude oil products, and to form new products. Oil products are also used in the chemical industry to produce materials such as plastics. Photographed at ExxonMobil's Fawley Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, Hampshire, UK, one of the largest petrochemical plants in Europe.

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