Why Petroleum is referred to as Black Gold?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Petroleum is referred to as black gold because crude oil is black when extracted from the ground. Although it is little, its economic value is enormous. Because of its price and oil, some people call it gold. Finding it is quite challenging. On Earth, such material is unusual. Even the extraction process is expensive.

Petroleum as Black Gold

Petroleum, also known as crude oil or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of primary hydrocarbons found in geological formations. Petroleum encompasses both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products made up of refined crude oil.

  • Petroleum refining is the process of converting crude oil into useful commodities.
  • Steps in the procedure include separation, conversion, and treatment.
  • Because the boiling points of hydrocarbons vary little, crude oil is heated in a furnace so that the hydrocarbons can be separated by fractional distillation.
  • Because they condense early and quickly, the heaviest fractions settle at the bottom of the fractionating tower, while the lightest fraction, gasoline, rises to the top.
  • The hydrocarbon is then converted into the desired hydrocarbon. Finally, the treatment produces the intended results.
  • Crude oil is jet black before purification but turns golden after purification; hence, it is labelled as gold.


Why Petroleum is referred to as Black Gold?

Petroleum is sometimes also called Black Gold because its occurrence is natural and is found as a yellowish-black liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that are found in geological formations. The unprocessed crude oil that occurs naturally and the petroleum products composed of refined crude oil are both termed Petroleum.

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