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Thanks everybody! But the fact is that simply 'solid' really is the best translation into English. It seems that in oil and gas твердые и легкие фракции have to do with SOLID and GASEOUS impurities, whether they be precipitates (yes, this term is most certainly used in chemistry as well as when referring to weather, and is an exact equivalent of осадок!) or pollutants being released during the refining process. 4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer