Assessing our Understanding of Crude Oil

Assessing our Understanding of Crude Oil Photo Credit: Clipart.com


You have learned a great deal about the petroleum refinement process. Before continuing to the treatment process, it is helpful to assess what we understand and what misconceptions we may have.

Answer these multiple choice questions. You will share your answers with a group of peers in your class and determine, based on discussion, the correct answers.

1. Where does crude oil come from?

a) Dead dinosaurs
b) Ancient plankton and sea life
c) It’s always been part of the earth
d) People make it
e) I don’t know

2. Crude oil is the same thing as…

a) Natural gas
b) Fossils
c) Petroleum
d) Coal
e) Gasoline
f) I don’t know

3. Underground, crude oil looks like...

a) A large cave filled with oil
b) A river of black oil flowing through a tunnel
c) A solid black layer of carbon
d) Liquid metal moving slowly
e) Drops of oil mixed with sand or filling small cracks
f) I don’t know

4. Today, crude oil can be found underground in deserts, forests, and even in the ocean. What do we know about these places in ancient times?

a) Petroleum can form in any environment
b) The places where petroleum is found were once deserts
c) The places where petroleum is found were once seas
d) These areas have large caves which could store petroleum
e) I don’t know

5. Chemically, crude oil is composed of…

a) Ancient plankton and sea life
b) Vast quantities of a single type of hydrocarbon
c) Fossils of ancient organisms, like dinosaurs
d) A collection of different molecules, including metals and hydrocarbons
e) I don’t know

6. Why is crude oil superheated in the refinery process?

a) Heating allows it to become liquid and more easily altered
b) The crude oil must be changed into a gas state in order to refine it
c) The heating process burns off contaminating residue in the crude oil
d) The hydrocarbons in the crude oil can be separated based on their boiling point
e) I don’t know

7. A small hydrocarbon, like methane, is characterized by…

a) A relatively high boiling point
b) A relatively low boiling point
c) I don’t know

8. A hydrocarbon with a relatively low boiling point will…

a) Rise high in the distillation column
b) Will stay low in the distillation column
c) Will not become a gas
d) I don’t know

9. A petroleum fraction is…

a) A small amount of the original crude oil
b) What we pump into our cars at the gas station
c) A collection of hydrocarbons of similar length found in the crude oil
d) A collection of one type of hydrocarbon originally found in the crude oil
e) I don’t know

10. How long does crude oil take to form?

a) It has always been part of the earth
b) Millions of years
c) Thousands of years
d) Hundreds of years
e) Less than 100 years
f) People can make it from other products
g) I don’t know

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