The Chemistry of Modern Flight



    Kerosene is prepared using the fractional distillation of crude oil (a mixture of different hydrocarbons). The crude oil is heated until it boils, the gases released then rise up the distillation tower (which gets cooler towards the top) and the different gases condense at different parts of the distillation tower due to their different boiling points and are collected. Kerosene (as seen in the diagram has a boiling point between 200 and 250C and is collected in the 3rd highest fraction. The boiling points vary with the number of carbons in each hydrocarbon (in Kerosene's case this is 12-16 carbons).  

Fractional distillation of crude oil.