Better Roads, April 2012
Road Science, By Tom Kuennen, Contributing Editor
Petroleum (literally, rock oil) is one of the most important gifts of the union of carbon and hydrogen. But instead of being a simple compound (like water), petroleum is a natural product, a complex “soup” of thousands of hydrocarbon compounds, the mix varying according to source. The never-ending variance of the makeup of petroleum challenges the refiner, who must adjust the refining process to optimize extraction of the valuable components of petroleum.