Powdered catalyst being poured for oil industry

Powdered catalyst being poured for oil industry

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Credit: ED YOUNG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Oil industry catalyst. Powdered catalyst being poured into a hand at an oil refinery. Alumina- silica gel powders are used as catalysts to break up (crack) the heavier components (fractions) of crude oil into lighter, more valuable fractions, such as petrol. A catalyst is a substance which speeds up a chemical reaction without itself undergoing a chemical change. The catalyst is powdered to maximise its effectiveness by increasing the surface area over which reactions can take place.

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Keywords: alumina-silica, catalyst, cracking, energy, fossil fuel, fuels, industry, oil, oil industry

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