HYDROCARBON (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     16th April 2024        

Context: Recently, humanity harnessed hydrocarbons, formed over millennia, to fuel engines during the two Industrial Revolutions, leading to widespread environmental pollution and the onset of global warming.

Hydrocarbon & its exploration

  • About: It is defined as a class of organic chemicals comprising solely carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) elements.
  • Composition: Hydrocarbons consist of carbon atoms that bond together to create the compound's structure, with hydrogen atoms bonding to them in various arrangements.
  • Location: Hydrocarbons primarily exist in subterranean rock formations.
  • Forms: They are commonly found as natural gas, coal, crude oil, and petroleum.
  • Formation: Reservoirs are created underground when a more resistant rock overlays a less resistant one, causing hydrocarbons to accumulate beneath.
  • Significance: These formations prevent hydrocarbons from floating to the surface and dissipating.
  • Primary Source: The main origin of hydrocarbons in underground rocks is kerogen.

oSources of Kerogen: It can originate from lacustrine (lake), marine, or terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Uses: Hydrocarbons form the primary components of petroleum and natural gas. They function as fuels and lubricants, and also serve as essential raw materials for manufacturing plastics, fibers, rubbers, solvents, explosives, and various industrial chemicals.