Petroleum is used to make fuels, oils, fertilizers, pesticides and the petrochemicals present in a wide variety of other products. Many business sectors rely on petroleum, including the fashion, art, agriculture, health care and transportation industries.
Petrol is essential in meeting the world’s transportation needs. In addition to being used in fuels that power automobiles, heavy-duty vehicles and airplanes, it is a component in the synthetic rubber that forms their tires.
Petroleum is used in agriculture to create the ammonia that supplies nitrogen for fertilizers. Most commercial pesticides also come from petroleum. Additionally, the shelf life of many canned foods is extended by food additives derived from petrochemicals.
Among home products dependent on petrol are curtains and carpets made of synthetic fibers derived from petroleum. Others are soap-free detergents made from glycerin and every type of plastic except bioplastics.
Nylons and acrylics the fashion industry uses to make clothing are derived from petrochemicals, as is makeup that contains oils. The same is true of many perfumes, lipsticks, waxes and dyes.
Oil-based paints, inks and crayons used by artists are manufactured from petrochemicals. Photographers need petrol for the ethylene in their film. Musicians need it for their guitar strings and CDs.
In terms of medicine, acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in many pain relievers, is manufactured from petrochemicals. Other health-related items made from or containing petroleum are vitamin capsules, heart valves, cortisone, anesthetics and aspirin.