Chemical byproducts–also known as petrochemicals–produced by refining oil and gas, can be found in over 6,000 household products and cutting-edge technologies. Whether helping us go about our daily lives or aiding us in exploring the next frontier, these 5 products are proof that there is more to the oil and gas industry than meets the eye.
Most glasses lenses are made of a highly durable plastic called polycarbonate, which is produced using a petrochemical known as BPA. To add scratch-resistance, the lenses are treated with a special coating containing various forms of a petrochemical called acetate. Polarized lenses are also treated with polyvinyl acetate to prevent glare. Whether or not you are a glasses person, you now know how petrochemicals help people in unexpected ways.
Aspirin is created from a chemical called benzyne, which is a natural component of crude oil and gasoline. Benzene is also produced by forest fires and volcanoes.
Spacesuits worn for spacewalks are called Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs. An EMU can have up to 16 layers, each designed for specific functions. With so many layers, spacesuits are made using several different petrochemicals. Some of these petrochemicals are gortex, neoprene, mylar, nylon, spandex, dacron, and kevlar.
Like spacesuits, parachutes are also made of various petrochemical textiles like nylon and kevlar. These substances are lightweight but incredibly strong, allowing parachutes to support your weight safely through the air.
Candy and Gum
After consuming all that information, you probably want some dessert. How about some candy? Many candies, like chocolate and jellybeans, use an edible petrochemical byproduct called food-safe paraffin-wax. This substance reduces stickiness and gives candies that irresistible shine that triggers your sweet tooth. Additionally, most gums are produced using synthetic rubbers, such as the petrochemical isobutylene.
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As you now know, oil and gas does a lot more for us than just provide power. If you want to learn about how Tiger General helps the oil and gas industry, click here!