Oil


Oil

An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils.

Contents

Etymology

First attested in English 1176, the word oil comes from Old French "oile", from Latin "oleum",[1] which in turn comes from the Greek "ἔλαιον" (elaion), "olive oil, oil"[2] and that from "ἐλαία" (elaia), "olive tree".[3] The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek e-ra-wo, written in Linear B syllabic script.[4]

Types

Organic oils

Organic oils are produced in remarkable diversity by plants, animals, and other organisms through natural metabolic processes. Lipid is the scientific term for the fatty acids, steroids and similar chemicals often found in the oils produced by living things, while oil refers to an overall mixture of chemicals. Organic oils may also contain chemicals other than lipids, including proteins, waxes and alkaloids.

Lipids can be classified by the way that they are made by an organism, their chemical structure and their limited solubility in water compared to oils. They have a high carbon and hydrogen content and are considerably lacking in oxygen compared to other organic compounds and minerals; they tend to be relatively nonpolar molecules, but may include both polar and nonpolar regions as in the case of phospholipids and steroids.[5]

Mineral oils

Crude oil, or petroleum, and its refined components, collectively termed petrochemicals, are crucial resources in the modern economy. Crude oil originates from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil.[6] It is classified as a mineral oil because it does not have an organic origin on human timescales, but is instead obtained from rocks, underground traps, or sands. Mineral oil also refers to several specific distillates of crude oil.

Applications

A bottle of olive oil used in food

Cosmetics

Oils are applied to hair to give it a lustrous look, to prevent tangles and roughness and to stabilize the hair to promote growth.[citation needed] See Hair conditioner.

Religion

Oils are commonly used in ritual anointments. As a particular example, Holy anointing oil has been an important ritual liquid for Judaism and Christianity.

Painting

Color pigments are easily suspended in oil, making it suitable as a supporting medium for paints. The oldest known extant oil paintings date from 650 AD.[7]

Heat transfer

Oils are used as coolants in oil cooling, for instance in electric transformers. Oils are also used to enhance heating in other applications, such as cooking (especially in frying).

Lubrication

Oils are commonly used as lubricants. Mineral oils are more more commonly used as machine lubricants than biological oils are.

Fuel

Some oils burn in liquid or aerosol form, generating heat which can be used directly or converted into other forms of energy such as electricity or mechanical work. To obtain most of these oils, crude oil is pumped from the ground and is shipped via oil tanker to an oil refinery. There, it is converted from crude oil to diesel fuel (petrodiesel), ethane (and other short-chain alkanes), fuel oils (heaviest of commercial fuels, used in ships/furnaces), gasoline (petrol), jet fuel, kerosene, benzene (historically), and liquefied petroleum gas. A 42 gallon barrel (U.S.) of crude oil produces approximately 10 gallons of diesel, 4 gallons of jet fuel, 19 gallons of gasoline, 7 gallons of other products, 3 gallons split between heavy fuel oil and Liquified petroleum gases [8], and 2 gallons of heating oil. The total production of a barrel of crude into various products results in an increase to 45 barrels [9]. Not all oils used as fuels are mineral oils, see biodiesel and vegetable oil fuel.

Chemical Feedstock

Crude oil can be refined into a wide variety of component hydrocarbons. Petrochemicals are the refined components of crude oil and the chemical products made from them. They are used as detergents, fertilizers, medicines, paints, plastics, synthetic fibers, and synthetic rubber. Organic oils are another important chemical feedstock, especially in green chemistry.

See also

  • Emulsifier, a chemical which allows oil and water to mix
  • Lubrication
  • Wax, a class of compounds with oil-like properties that are solid at common temperatures

References

  1. ^ oleum, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. ^ ἔλαιον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. ^ ἐλαία, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. ^ Palaeolexicon, Word study tool of ancient languages
  5. ^ Alberts, Bruce; Johnson, Alexander; Lewis, Julian; Raff, Martin; Roberts, Keith; Walter, Peter. Molecular Biology of the Cell. New York: Garland Science, 2002, pp. 62, 118-119.
  6. ^ Kvenvolden, Keith A. (2006). "Organic geochemistry – A retrospective of its first 70 years". Organic Geochemistry 37: 1. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2005.09.001. 
  7. ^ "Oldest Oil Paintings Found in Afghanistan", Rosella Lorenzi, Discovery News. Feb. 19, 2008.
  8. ^ U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)-Retrieved 2011-10-02
  9. ^ [1]-Retrieved 2011-10-02

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oil — (oil), n. [OE. oile, OF. oile, F. huile, fr. L. oleum; akin to Gr. ?. Cf. {Olive}.] Any one of a great variety of unctuous combustible substances, more viscous than and not miscible with water; as, olive oil, whale oil, rock oil, etc. They are of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oil! —   1st edition …   Wikipedia

  • oïl — [ ɔjl ] adv. d affirmation • 1080 « oui »; a. fr. o « cela »; du lat. hoc et il ♦ Langue d oïl : ensemble des dialectes (picard, bourguignon, anglo normand, francien …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oil — [oil] n. [ME oile < OFr < L oleum, oil, olive oil < Gr elaion, (olive) oil, akin to elaia,OLIVE] 1. any of various kinds of greasy, combustible substances obtained from animal, vegetable, and mineral sources: oils are liquid at ordinary… …   English World dictionary

  • oil — oil; oil·dom; oil·er; oil·field·er; oil·i·ly; oil·i·ness; oil·less; oil·let; oil·man; oil·om·e·ter; oil·skinned; oil·less·ness; oil·tight·ness; …   English syllables

  • oil — Ⅰ. oil UK US /ɔɪl/ noun [U] ► NATURAL RESOURCES a thick liquid that comes from under the Earth s surface and is used as a fuel and for making plastics, etc.: »More than 6,000 rigs were drilling for oil and gas. »The oil price increase is a… …   Financial and business terms

  • OIL — steht für: Oïl Sprachen, eine Gruppe galloromanischer Sprachen, siehe Langues d’oïl OIL steht für Ontology Inference Layer, eine semantische Auszeichnungssprache Office Infrastructures et logistique Luxembourg, Amt für Gebäude, Anlagen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • oil — vb Oil, grease, lubricate, anoint, cream all mean to smear or treat with an oily, fatty, or greasy substance, but they vary greatly in their implications of the substance used and the purpose for which it is employed and in their idiomatic… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Oil — steht für: Oïl Sprachen, eine Gruppe galloromanischer Sprachen, siehe Langues d’oïl OIL steht für Ontology Inference Layer, eine semantische Auszeichnungssprache Office Infrastructures et logistique Luxembourg, Amt für Gebäude, Anlagen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • oil|y — «OY lee», adjective, oil|i|er, oil|i|est. 1. of oil: »an oily smell. 2. containing oil: »an oily salad dressing …   Useful english dictionary

  • Oil — Oil, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Oiled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Oiling}.] To smear or rub over with oil; to lubricate with oil; to anoint with oil. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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