Definition - What does Fractionate mean?
Fractionate can be referred to as the process of separating any mixture into its different components through distillation. It is basically a chemical separation process, in which a liquid mixture is boiled to draw out various elements from it. Since each fraction in this liquid has a certain boiling point, it is easy to fractionate (remove) them from the main source. In general, crude oil is fractionated to get different oil fractions from it, i.e., petrol, gasoline and diesel etc., that are later on sent for further refining.
Petropedia explains Fractionate
The extraction of petroleum products is based on the fractionate process, in which a step by step fractional distillation method is carried out to get the fractions (elements extracted). Fractionate is also referred to as “petroleum fractionation” that is performed in oil refineries. This entire process is based on the boiling points of all the elements found in the crude oil, i.e., petroleum. The fractionating column in the refinery fractionates the crude oil, where different fractions, according to their chemical and boiling properties are derived. Gases stay at top of the fractionate column, while bitumen stays at the bottom. Apart from these, the other products of fractionate are gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, diesel, and naphtha.