PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oil refinery towers. 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) called pipestills. The products are then refined and processed further, going through purification, cracking, reforming, and yet more purification stages. Final products include fuels like petrol, diesel and jet fuel, as well as raw materials used in the chemical industry. Photographed at ExxonMobil's Fawley Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, Hampshire, UK.
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