Prelims 2021

Q. With reference to furnace oil, consider the following statements:

1.It is a product of oil refineries.
2.Some industries use it to generate power.
3.Its use causes sulphur emissions into environment.

Which of the statements given above are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Correct Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Furnace Oil

Furnace oil, also known as fuel oil, is indeed a product of oil refineries. It is produced during the distillation of crude oil and is one of the heavier products that result from the refining process. It is typically used in industrial settings and for heating purposes.

Industrial Applications for Power Generation

Furnace oil is commonly used as a fuel in industrial boilers and furnaces to generate heat or power. It is a cost-effective fuel for industries that require large amounts of heat or steam for their processes, such as power plants, chemical plants, and manufacturing facilities.

Environmental Impact of Sulphur Emissions

Its use causes sulphur emissions into the environment. Furnace oil often contains a significant amount of sulphur. When it is burned, the sulphur in the fuel is oxidized to form sulphur dioxide (SO2) and other sulphur compounds, which are released into the atmosphere. Sulphur emissions can contribute to air pollution, acid rain, and respiratory problems in humans and animals. Due to environmental concerns, there are regulations in place to limit the sulphur content in furnace oil and to control emissions from its combustion.

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