The contribution of chromatography to the petrochemical industry

A.I.M. Keulemans

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Even today the size of a petroleum-refinery is estimated by its crude oil distillation capacity, despite the fact that around 1948 the second phase in the development of refineries was almost completed. Thermal cracking, catalytic cracking, isomerization, polymerization and alkylation constituted at that time the major operations of every large refinery. In the first and second phases of development the modern methods of analysis played practically no role in the refineries, although the mass spectrometer came into general use for the analysis of the cracking gases and this introduced the third phase in refinery development, the petrochemical industry. It is in this development that the modern methods of analysis and especially gas chromatography appeared to be indispensable. The interplay between classical refinery and modern petrochemistry is illustrated among other things by the dewaxing of lubricating oil, the production of paraffin wax, the thermal cracking of wax, quality improvement of wax, production of highly pure straight chain olefins and their applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
JournalHungarian Journal of Industrial Chemistry
Issue numbersuppl.
Publication statusPublished - 1974


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