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How is gas made

Updated on January 4, 2018

How Gas is Made

Ever wonder how gas is made? What is the process that is used to turn oil into gas that we use? Here is a brief run down on how crude oil is made into gas at the refinery. Watch the Video below of a refinery in Pennsylvania that gives you a walk through tour and kind of explains some of the process.

Oil to Gas

With all the news about the rising costs of oil and gas, I got to thinking that I had no idea how Oil became Gas. So off I went to do a little research to find the answer. Included here Is a simple version of what I learned.

We all know the Oil comes out of the ground at the oil rigs and finds it's way to a refinery. Depending on the Carbon make-up of a particular Oil, it is made into gasoline, diesel, kerosene, naphtha and etc. The Refinery will separate these different Carbons so they can be processed into it's respective product. The different Hydrocarbons have different boiling points. The CRUDE OIL is heated and through a process called Fraction Distillation the different carbons separate. With the Gasoline the vapors condensate and are collected.

Another technique called Chemical processing is used to convert one carbon into another, such as Gas. The gas is treated to remove impurities and different

Carbons can be mixed to give different Octane's.

Other components are mixed with the gas to give it's final product.

The fractional distillation process produces about 250 mL of straight gasoline for each liter of crude oil. The amount of gasoline may be doubled by converting higher or lower boiling point fractions into hydrocarbons into the gasoline range.

The Gas is stored at the refinery until it is transported to the Gas Station.

Making Gas the Old Fashion Way

I found this story about farmers being able to get barrels of Oil for almost nothing and refining it on their own to get gas by evaporation and collecting the condensed liquid.

A quote from "How we made Gasoline" by Norris Chambers

My dad and I built a small dirt tank about a half mile from the house, and before making the dam we ran a 1" pipe through it. On the low side of the dam, we dug a hole large enough for a five gallon can. This is where the fuel would come out. Above the tank we placed a fifty-five gallon barrel on some rocks and fitted the pipe to the vent hole in the top. When it rained and filled our new tank, we were ready to start refining.

Two fifteen gallon barrels were filled with fresh oil and poured in the barrel. Then we started the fire about it. Before long fumes began to come out of the pipe below the dam, and shortly thereafter the gasoline began to run out in a small stream. The first that came out was very high in octane, and would evaporate from your finger as soon as you dipped it in the mixture. But as it continued to distill, it became less volatile. We found from experience that the first ten gallons that we got made good automobile fuel, and that the next six or eight gallons was composed of varying grades of kerosene. But all of it mixed together made excellent tractor fuel. After the first batch, we used the residue to fuel a fire for the next cooking. Because of the heat involved, we never made more than once a day.

Do you think we really have a chance of running out of oil?

See results

Gas Facts

On January 7, 1913, William Meriam Burton received a patent for his cracking process to convert oil to gasoline. Gas was being produced before this time by other methods, I believe this was the first of our modern process.

How much Gas is used in the U.S. each year?

The United States uses about 20 million barrels of oil each day at 42 gallons of Oil per barrel.

From that 42 gallons, we get about 20 gallons of gas.

So, that comes out to about 400 million gallons of Gas that gets used each day. In a years time the U.S. uses about 140 Billion gallons of Gas.

As of 2006, the oil reserves by country were:

Billion barrels

1. Saudi Arabia, 264.3

2. Canada, 178.8

3. Iran, 132.5

4. Iraq, 115.0

5. Kuwait, 101.5

6. United Arab Emirates, 97.8

7. Venezuela, 79.7

8. Russia, 60.0

9. Libya, 39.1

10. Nigeria, 35.9

11. United States, 21.4

12. China, 18.3

13. Qatar, 15.2

14. Mexico, 12.9

15. Algeria, 11.4

16. Brazil, 11.2

17. Kazakhstan, 9.0

18. Norway , 7.7

19. Azerbaijan, 7.0

20. India, 5.8

Thanks for visiting

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Now i know :) Nice!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the contribution. We need more awareness of oil and gas for sure.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i like this topic and don't forget also visiting

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! It's great to see people supporting the rigging industry! I hope to see more people choosing oil careers as their profession.

    • solarstories lm profile image

      solarstories lm 

      10 years ago

      This is great information, very simple and basic. With the crisis we have on gas these days I think it helps for everyone to have such information.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is great I gave it 5 stars! I am also adding this lens to my featured Lenses. More people should understand how this all takes place. This is new Lens I made after learning that you can Run Your Car on Water. Please stop by to review it.


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