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Chapter 1

Conventional Fuel Sources

A petroleum refinery is a group of manufacturing plants which are used to separate petroleum into fractions and the subsequent treating of these fractions to yield marketable products, particularly fuels. The configuration of refineries may vary from refinery to refinery. Some refineries may be more oriented toward the production of gasoline (large reforming and/or catalytic cracking) whereas the configuration of other refineries may be more oriented towards the production of middle distillates such as jet fuel, and gas oil.

While petroleum and natural gas are conventional fuel sources, alternative fuel sources are any materials or substances, other than conventional fuels, which can be used as fuels,. Examples of non-conventional fuels include coal, tar sand bitumen, oil shale, and biomass. Biomass can also be used directly for heating or power but it can also acts as a source of non-conventional fuels such as alcohols and biodiesel.

This chapter presents an overview of petroleum refining in order for the reader to place each process in the correct context of the production of conventional fuels and to understand the process modifications that are often necessary to convert biomass to biofuels.

Publication details

Print publication date
18 Jul 2011
Copyright year
Print ISBN
From the book series:
RSC Energy Series