C1A Again

Here’s my crude oil script. These will probably be available on my school website quite soon. I will download them and put them on my revision blog if I ever get round to making it. The copyright’s fine because I wrote it and the music on them is from Garageband, which apparently means it’s copyright free. The person performing it with me probably won’t mind and I don’t think the school or the AQA exam board can really sue me or anything.

  C1A Crude Oil Revision Podcast  
A: Hello! This is the C1A Revision Podcast on Crude Oil  
B: Crude oil is formed as microscopic plants and animals in the sea die and fall to the seabed  
A: Layers of sand and mud form on top and the pressure and temperatures cause oil to form  
B: After a few million years we can drill into the ground and extract it. Crude oil is a mixture of lots of different chemical compounds and it can be separated by fractional distillation, which we’ll come to in a minute  
A: Nearly all the compounds in crude oil are hydrocarbons, containing the elements Hydrogen and Carbon. They are long chains of carbon atoms joined together, with hydrogen atoms attached  
B: Most of these hydrocarbons are alkanes which are saturated hydrocarbons. Saturated means that every spare bond which isn’t holding the carbon atoms together is attached to a hydrogen atom so they couldn’t possibly have any more hydrogen  
A: Alkanes all have names ending in ‘ane’ like Methane Propane and Butane. The chains can be really short or really long  
B: The length depends on the amount of carbon atoms so there is a general formula to work out how many hydrogen atoms there will be if you know the length  
A: The formula is CnH(2n+2)  
B: This is a bit like formulae you will have seen in Maths because, in theory, the letter n can represent any number  
A: So if there were 10 carbon atoms, n would be 10 so 2n+2 would be 22 because 10 * 2 = 20 and 20 + 2 = 22  
B: The alkane would have ten carbon atoms and 22 hydrogen atoms.  
A: Alkanes also have different properties depending on their chain lengths  
B: Alkanes with short chains are more volatile, which means they turn into a vapor more easily at room temperature. That’s why you can smell them more easily  
A: They are also easier to ignite, burn better and are runnier  
B: Longer alkanes are less volatile and harder to set on fire  
A: They are said to be more viscous, because they are stickier, thicker and gloopier. This is because their long chains can get tangled  
B: One important fact about alkanes is that the shorter chains have a lower boiling point and the longer chains have a higher boiling point and this is what fractional distillation is based on  
A: You will have seen diagrams of a fractional distillation column. Crude oil is heated to very high temperatures so all the different chain lengths evaporate and then the resulting gas is piped into the column  
B: The column is hot at the bottom and cool at the top and it has pipes coming out on one side carrying all the fractions of crude oil away. The evaporated hydrocarbons rise because they are hot  
A: Different chain lengths condense at different heights in the column and run off out of different pipes  
B: Something’s boiling point is the temperature at which it turns from a liquid into a gas, or if you think about it the other way around, the temperature at which it starts to turn from a gas into a liquid if it is cooled down.  
A: That means you could think about it as its condensing point too. The evaporated alkanes travel up through the column until they reach their boiling / condensing point which is different depending on how long they are, turn into a liquid, stop rising and run out through a pipe  
B: Things like bitumen come out at the bottom of the column. These are long hydrocarbons which are viscous and used to cover roads or lubricate engine parts  
A: Some things don’t get cold enough to condense, so they come straight out of the top of the column as gas. It’s used as bottled gas, which is stored at room temperature in special bottles  
B: The bottles are pressurized so it turns into a liquid making it easier to fit more in. Because the molecules are short it is volatile and when the top of the bottle is opened it vaporizes and gradually flows out ready to be burned  
A: All the crude oil fractions burn cleanly so they make great fuels  
B: Most modern transport gets its energy from burning crude oil, like cars which burn petrol  
A: Even electric vehicles get their energy from power stations, many of which make energy by burning oil  
B: Alternatives are available, like nuclear and wind power, but power stations and vehicles are set up to use oil, making it cheaper and easier to use  
A: We are likely to run out of crude oil soon but nobody knows quite when because we might find new oil reserves of make new technologies which allow us to get even more out of the ones we already know  
B: Using oil is also bad for the environment. To get it we have to drill into the ground which involves building an oil rig or a big drill on land which can disrupt wildlife
A: Disastrous oil spills can also happen, poisoning the local wildlife. To get the energy out of oil, you have to burn it, which releases things into the atmosphere and is thought to be a major cause of acid rain, global dimming and global warming
B: And on that bombshell, it’s time to end the Podcast. Goodbye!

About Matt

I like writing, filmmaking, programming and gaming, and prefer creating media to consuming it. On the topic of consumption, I'm also a big fan of eating.
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