Nobel's oil refinery, artwork

Nobel's oil refinery, artwork

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nobel's oil refinery. Computer artwork showing the design of the oil refinery used by the Swedish industrialist Ludvig Immanuel Nobel (1831-1888). An oil refinery is where crude oil, a mixture of hydrocarbons, is refined (separated) in parts called fractions. These are separated by boiling the crude oil in distillation towers (stills, right) called pipestills. The products are then refined and processed further, going through purification, cracking, reforming, and yet more purification stages. Nobel, with his brother Robert, operated extensive oil interests in Baku, in what is now Azerbaijan. Their company, Branobel (founded 1876), became one of the largest oil companies in the world in the late 19th century.

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