The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum: 5th Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum

5th Edition

By James G. Speight

CRC Press

953 pages | 206 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-02-26
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With demand for petroleum products increasing worldwide, there is a tendency for existing refineries to seek new approaches to optimize efficiency and throughput. In addition, changes in product specifications due to environmental regulations greatly influence the development of petroleum refining technologies. These factors underlie the need for this fifth edition of The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum, which continues in the tradition of the bestselling fourth edition, proving readers with a detailed overview of the chemistry and technology of petroleum as it evolves into the twenty-first century.

The new edition has been updated with the latest developments in the refining industry, including new processes as well as updates on evolving processes and various environmental regulations. The book covers issues related to economics and future refineries, examines the changing character of refinery feedstock, and offers new discussions on environmental aspects of refining. It contains more than 300 figures and tables, including chemical structures and process flow sheets.

A useful reference for scientists and engineers in the petroleum industry as well as in the catalyst manufacturing industry, this book introduces readers to the science and technology of petroleum, beginning with its formation in the ground and culminating in the production of a wide variety of products and petrochemical intermediates.


“… Offers a 21st century perspective on the development of petroleum refining technologies. This volume traces the science of petroleum from its subterranean formation to physicochemical properties and the production of numerous products and petrochemical intermediates. Presenting nearly 50 percent new material, this edition emphasizes novel refining approaches that optimize efficiency and throughput. It includes new chapters on heavy oil and tar sand bitumen recovery; deasphalting and dewaxing processes, and environmental aspects of refining, including refinery wastes, regulations and analysis. This text also features revised and expanded coverage of instability and incompatibility, refinery distillation, thermal cracking, hydrotreating and desulfurization, hydrocracking, as well as hydrogen production.”

— In Anticancer Research, Vol. 27, No. 3B, May/June 2007

Table of Contents

Part I History, Occurrence, and Recovery

History and Terminology


Origin and Occurrence

Reservoirs and Reservoir Fluids


Exploration, Recovery, and Transportation

Recovery of Heavy Oil and Tar Sand Bitumen

Part II Composition and Properties

Chemical Composition

Fractional Composition

Petroleum Analysis

Structural Group Analysis

Asphaltene Constituents

Structure of Petroleum

Instability and Incompatibility

Part III Refining

Introduction to Refining Processes

Refining Chemistry


Thermal Cracking

Catalytic Cracking

Solvent Processes

Hydrotreating and Desulfurization


Hydrogen Production

Product Improvement and Treating

Gas Processing

Petroleum Products


Part IV Environmental Issues

Refinery Wastes

Environmental Aspects of Refining

Environmental Analysis

Conversion Factors



About the Author

James G. Speight earned a BSc and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Manchester, England. Since 1998, he has been employed at CD&W Inc. as a consultant/author/lecturer on energy and environmental issues. Dr. Speight has more than 40 years of experience in areas associated with the properties and recovery of reservoir fluids. His work has also focused on the environmental effects and remediation technologies related to fossil fuel and synthetic fuel processing. Dr. Speight is the author of more than 400 publications, reports, and presentations and has taught more than 70 courses. He is the author and coauthor of more than 50 books and bibliographies related to fossil fuels, synthetic fuels, biofuels, fuel processing, and environmental issues. He is also the recipient of several awards.

About the Series

Chemical Industries

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical