How an oil refinery works + more things

2 minutes estimated reading time

How an oil refinery works

Periscope films have managed to digitise a treasure trove of content. Back when I worked in an oil company I had to read around to learn how an oil refinery works a macro-level. I wish that I had seen this film How an oil refinery works put together by Shell for an American audience some time in the 1950s.

How an oil refinery works gives you a good understanding of fractional distillation, vacuum distillation and catalytic or ‘cat’ cracking. The three of which still are at the core processes at an oil refinery today. There are additional ancillary steps that happen depending on the oil make up such as desulphurisation or sulphur removal including removal of sulphurous compounds called mercaptans and removal of nitrogen impurities.

The experience of watching How an oil refinery works is far different to reading Modern Petroleum Technology by the Institute of Petroleum, or even this article on Encyclopaedia Britannica – which would have been my first go-to port of call at my local library back then. More on materials related topics here.

Porsche 935 K3 or what my dreams as a 10 year old looked like

As a child my bedroom wall was dominated by a world map from the early 1970s given out by the shipping line Lambert Brothers to a friend of the family who was a dentist who had a side line in cargo brokering at one time. The rest of my wall was given over to Ferrari and Porsche posters. Dominant among which was the Porsche 935. At the time, you could write to companies, claim you were doing a school project and they would send you back a press pack stuffed with black and white print photos. I even had a Burago model car of the same livery as this.

If my parents have kept hold of all this stuff, it would be a worth a small fortune on eBay, but I suspect it all got thrown out over time.

This video is the stuff that my dreams were made of.

Steve Hsu interviewing Dominic Cummings

I have a lot of time for American Taiwanese physicist Steve Hsu, so its surreal hearing him interview Domnic Cummings in his podcast. There is a less bombastic Cummings on show.

Takuya Nakamura

This week I listened to Takuya Nakamura’s set on The Lot Radio