[7] Life after life: petroleum products

What products are made from crude oil?

The oil produced from a shale rock has the same composition as conventional crude oil and is subsequently processed in the same way.

In order for the crude oil to be used, it has to be first refined. The refining process involves oil separation into fractions that are contingent on their specific boiling point. The process itself is complex and may vary depending on technology applied by the refinery.

Commercial products or components thereof produced by refineries are the most important items to the public. Fuels account for approx. 80% of them and include:

  • liquid petroleum gas (LPG),
  • gasoline (petrol),
  • fuel,
  • diesel, light and heavy heating oil.

Other important products are:

  • base oil used in production of lubricants,
  • waxes and asphalts,
  • oil coke, and
  • products used in petrochemical industry.

Semi-finished products of crude oil processing are omnipresent in our everyday life. They are found around us in:

  • drugs,
  • plastics,
  • tyres,
  • toys,
  • TV-sets,
  • clothing treatment agents.

They are present in computers, tabletops, beauty products, in all our everyday items, they create the world around us. All of the items we use are made from or using the oil, energy derived from oil or has been transported using petroleum fuels.

Oil is the foundation of the contemporary civilization and a factor that is shaping social relations internationally.

author: Katarzyna Dybkowska

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