PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diesel in a beaker. Diesel is a product of the refining of crude oil. Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is heated to separate it into parts called fractions. The lighter hydrocarbon fractions boil off and leave the heavier fractions behind. Diesel is collected in the range 250-350 degrees Celsius, and has hydrocarbons with 12 or more carbon atoms. Diesel is used as a fuel in motor vehicles, and as a heating oil. To compare the colour and viscosity of crude oil and its fractions, see T110/483-491 and T110/492-501.
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