Oil refinery at Fos, France

Oil refinery at Fos, France

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Credit: ALEX BARTEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A typical oil refinery. Like most refineries, the one seen here is located on the coast. This allows easy access for tankers. The crude oil is stored in large domed tanks nearby, then fed into the refinery itself. There, the oil is heated and passed through fractionation towers (the smaller, pipe-covered towers either side of centre). The oil is distilled into its different components (fractions). Lighter fractions such as kerosene and petrol are removed near the top of the tower, whilst heavier fractions such as lubricant oils and tars are taken from the bottom. Any gas generated is burnt off. Photographed at Port du Fos, Marseilles, France.

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Keywords: energy, fossil fuel, france, fuels, industry, oil, oil refinery, refinery

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