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Why is the cracking of petroleum fractions so important?

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    Tar isn't worth much, gasoline is, so if you can turn tarry substances into lighter compounds, you can make (more) money. Which you do by cracking; breaking up those BIG molecules into smaller molecules.

    Side note; car tires can be roughly 50 % carbon black (of different types) by weight; carbon black is produced by thermal cracking of heavy oil fractions. That method pre-dates the cracking described above by decades.

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