One resource, thousands of uses.
One resource, thousands of uses
The vast majority of the crude oil that goes through refineries leaves a range of products produced and is much wider than automotive fuels. In fact, these products touch almost every aspect of modern life and here -as a brief description for the reader- are listed a few of them:
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Together propane and butane are known as LPG, which is stored in metal containers under pressure as a liquid. It is used for heating and cooking, especially when portability is needed – in camping stoves, for example, or on boats.
Kerosene was the first major product to be refined from crude oil in the late 19th century. At that time it was mainly used for lighting in oil lamps. Today its main use is as jet aircraft fuel.
Without lubricants, the world might not stop spinning but everything on it would grind to a halt. Lubricants have thousands of uses, from fixing squeaky doors to oiling industrial machines and automotive engines.
Heavy fuel oils
These are used in large industrial boilers, in power stations for example, and to raise steam to drive turbines on ships.
This is the heaviest product from the refinery. Essentially it’s what is left after everything else has been removed from the crude oil. When heated, it can be used in road construction and as a waterproofing material for roofs.
Wax is a by-product of the refining process. It is used to make candles, electrical insulation and waterproof coverings for food cartons.
It is true that a range of petroleum products, under specific conditions, may cause serious environmental impacts. Many times in the storage tanks there is a variety of growing microbes which need special treatment. The Institute has already examined a series of treatments and keeps the necessary contacts to immediately attack such problems of industry.
Another category of oil products is the Petrochemicals industry. Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources sometimes, such as corn or sugar cane.
The two most common petrochemical classes are olefins (including ethylene and polypropylene) and aromatics (including benzene, toluene and xylene isomers). Oil refineries produce olefins and aromatics by fluid catalytic cracking of petroleum fractions. Aromatics are produced by catalytic reforming of naphtha. Olefins and aromatics are the building blocks for a wide range of materials such as solvents, detergents, and adhesives. Olefins are the basis for polymers and oligomers used in plastics, resins, fibers, elastomers, lubricants, and gels.
EETI is in close collaboration with refineries, chemical industry, other affiliated institutes and Universities may undertake any specific study of this market.