Refined products

Petroleum products are the outputs of a petroleum refinery. A typical refinery produces a wide variety of different products from every barrel of crude oil that it processes. Generally, refineries operate to make as much of the high-value light products (gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel) that they can, with the other products acting essentially as by-products.

Some of the major products from a typical refinery are:

  • Propane – Used as a feedstock for ethylene cracking, or blended into LPG for uses as a fuel
  • Butane – Used as a feedstock for ethylene cracking, or blended into LPG for uses as a fuel
  • LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) – A blend of propane and butane used as fuel
  • Light naphtha – Used as feedstock into ethylene crackers
  • Gasoline – Used as a transportation fuel for passenger cars and light trucks
  • Aviation gasoline – Used as an engine fuel in light aircraft
  • Jet fuel – Used as a fuel for jet aircraft
  • Kerosene fuel oil – Used as a residential cooking, heating, and lighting fuel
  • Diesel – Used as a fuel for heavy-duty trucks, trains, and heavy equipment
  • Industrial gasoil – Used as a furnace fuel in industrial plants and commercial/residential heating (heating oil)
  • Residual fuel oil – Used as a fuel in power generation and for large ocean-going ships (bunker fuel)

Many refineries also produce specialty or non-fuel products such as:

  • Asphalt – Used to pave roads and in the manufacture of building materials (e.g., roof shingles)
  • Base oils – Used to make lubricating oils for use in industrial machinery and vehicle engines
  • Propylene – Can be separated for sale to the petrochemicals industry
  • Aromatics – Can be separated from reformate for sale to the petrochemicals industry
  • Wax – Extracted from lubricating oil and either sold as a feedstock to specialty wax production (as slackwax) or treated at the refinery to a finished wax product.
  • Grease – Used as a solid lubricating oil, mostly in industrial uses
  • White oil – A colorless, odorless, tasteless oil used by the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals industries
  • White spirit – Naphtha range material used as an industrial or household solvent
  • Sulfur – A contaminant when present in other products, but once separated, it can be sold as a feedstock to the petrochemicals industry
  • Pet coke – A by-product of the coking process that can be sold as a fuel for power plants and cement plants or to manufacture electrodes and anodes