Segments in this Video

Petroleum Overview (01:46)


Petroleum is the most important fuel source for our industrialized society. There is a finite supply and its use contaminates the environment.

Formation and Composition (02:35)

Petroleum is a black, oily liquid that is lighter than water and principally composed of hydrogen and carbon. It forms by the accumulation of enormous quantities of plankton, aquatic plants and other small animals. This organic material is covered by clay and mud and broken down by bacteria which turn it into oil and natural gas over the course of millions of years.

Extraction of Crude Oil (03:16)

Only pockets of oil that were close to the surface were accessible during the early days of drilling. Gradually, more advanced techniques and oil derricks allowed companies to detect and reach deposits buried deeper under the Earth’s surface and ocean floor. Pipelines and oil tankers allow for inexpensive transportation of crude oil to refineries; spillage presents significant danger to the environment.

Refining of Petroleum (02:00)

Refineries are massive chemical laboratories where physical processes, such as distillation, complex reactions, and fractioning occur. Products obtained through fractioning include: asphalt, diesel fuel, paraffin, lubricating oils, kerosene, petrol and more.

Summary (02:20)

This segment reviews the components of petroleum discussed in this video.

Credits: Petroleum (00:40)

Credits: Petroleum

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Part of the Series : Just the Facts Chemistry Connections Series
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Petroleum is the most widely used fuel in modern-day industrialized society. Throughout the centuries, it has played a very significant role in civilization. But it’s used to create far more than you might expect. Discover the composition of petroleum and how it’s formed, the extraction of crude oil, the refining of petroleum, and the products obtained from petroleum. Plus, come to realize the effects and consequences of our excessive reliance on this limited resource.

Length: 15 minutes

Item#: BVL155059

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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