Petroleum distillates, also called hydrocarbons or petrochemicals, refer to a broad range of compounds which are extracted by distillation during the refining of crude oil. During the fractional distillation of petroleum, crude oil is heated to allow various compounds to turn from liquid into gas and then captured as they rise, cool, and condense.

Lighter, more volatile compounds rise higher before they condense and are collected on distillation trays. Heavier, less volatile compounds such as diesel fuel and oil are collected on lower distillation trays. Waxes and asphaltsare collected from the bottom after the other products have volatilized.

- 87198/2006-09-16

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