PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL RAPSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oil refinery. General view of an oil refinery, including structures such as oil storage tanks (at left and right), and a pipestill (barrel-shaped tower at centre). Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons. 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 to make materials such as plastics in the chemical industry. Photographed at ExxonMobil's Fawley Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, Hampshire, UK.
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