Pumped into the column from storage tanks
Straight and branched, some linked in rings,
The longer, heavier molecules condensing
A fractional migration, almost expository,
With the heaviest fractions, the thick fuel oils,
And the excess gases of the fractionation,
This poem is a distillation column. The refining process it describes, which employs a so-called "bubble tower" to separate the fractions of petroleum, first appeared in the oil industry in 1917, with a patent filed by Frank R. Lewis and Thomas S. Cooke of the Standard Oil Company (Indiana).