Petroleum Chemistry Online Course & Certificate

20 contact hours
Used For:
2 Continuing Education Units
Course and Certificate:

Petroleum Chemistry is a course that addresses the chemical composition and physical properties of petroleum, methods of fractionation and analysis and the chemical basis for the most common refinery processes. It also provides and an overview of the products from oil refining. Some additional subjects will be included. These are typical unit operations and historical tendencies in the fields of petroleum processing.

After completing Petroleum Chemistry, students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:

  1. The overall chemical composition of petroleum, including the phase composition of generalized oil types
  2. Physical parameters for evaluation of oil quality
  3. Principles of major refining processes
  4. Methods of fractionation and analysis of crude oil and fractions
  5. World oil and gas resources
  6. Potentials and processes for production of renewable liquid fuels from biomass sources
  7. Important secondary unit operations


A basic understanding of chemistry is required.


 Students will be assigned 5 homework assignments, and 1 final exam. 

Module 1. Introduction                                   

1.1 Backgrounds of petroleum chemistry

1.2 The significance of petroleum chemistry

1.3 The research development of petroleum chemistry

Module 2. Composition of petroleum

2.1 Appearance properties of crude oil

2.2 Elementary compositions of crude oil

2.3 Hydrocarbon constituents of straight-run distillates

2.4 Non-hydrocarbon constituents

2.5 Resin and asphaltene of petroleum

Module 3. The properties of petroleum and product 

3.1 Volatility: vapor pressure, boiling point range, average boiling point;

3.2 Density, Specific gravity,

3.3 Average molecular weight, characteristic factor (k)

3.4 Viscosity

3.5 Critical properties

3.6 Thermal properties

3.7 Others

Module 4. The Quality of Petroleum Products 

4.1 Gasoline

4.2 Diesel

Module 5. Crude oil assay & Refinery processing

5.1 Crude oil assay

5.2 The oil refinery

5.3 Crude oil processing

Module 6. Heavy oil chemistry 

6.1 Colloid structure of heavy oil and solvent seperation

6.2 Modern analysis and identification methods of heavy oil structures

6.3 Chemistry constituents and structures of residue

6.4 New evaluation methods of residue seperation based on the supercritical fluid technique

Module 7. Solvent Deasphalting

7.1         Introduction

7.2         Advantages

7.3         Deep solvent deasphalting

7.4         Typical processes

7.5         Applications in heavy oil processing

Module 8. Thermal cracking

8.1  Introduction

8.2  Reactions

8.3  Visbreaking

8.4  Coking

8.5  Conclusion

Module 9 Catalytic cracking

9.1           Introduction

9.2           Feedstock

9.3           Catalyst

9.4           Operating modes

9.5           Process description

Module 10 Hydrotreating

10.1  Introduction

10.2  Catalyst

10.3  Hydrodesulfurization

10.4  Distillate hydrodesulfurization

10.5  Residuum hydrodesulfurization

Module 11 Hydrocracking

11.1        Feedstock

11.2        Product

11.3        Catalyst


 This course is Instructor-led and delivered through our award-winning online Learning Management System.