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Subject - Petrochemistry

Cracking is derived from the english verb "to crack". Cracking is a chemical process in which mostly organic substances are broken down into smaller components. For this to happen, substances either have to be heated under high pressure (thermal cracking) or heated in the presence of a catalyst (catalytic cracking). Typical starting materials for the cracking process are the various fractions of crude oil.

Fig.1
Overview of the different cracking processes

Subject - Inorganic Chemistry

In the course of producing gasoline, hydrocarbons contained in crude oil are catalytically broken down in a fluidized bed reactor at 650-980 °C depositing coke with simultaneous release of H2 (catalytic cracking).

C3H8C2H6+H2+C

The produced mixtures of gases are subsequently separated by fractionation at low temperatures.

Recommended Learning Units

Alkanes: CrackingLevel 118 min.

ChemistryOrganic ChemistryAlkanes

This learning unit describes the cracking of alkanes. The industrial relevance of this process is explained using various examples.