Fossil fuels are running our world for generation. Fossil fuels were created when the dead remains of plants and animals remained under ground under extreme temperature and pressure. As years passed they gradually changed to fossil fuels.
‘Fuel’ means something which gives us energy. Fuels are needed in all sphere of daily life. Be it a car, or a television or a cooking Owen or even a mobile phone, everywhere energy is needed and along with is fuels.
Fossil fuels are available in many forms. When it is mined or dug out from the earth it is available mainly in its raw form which is its most impure form. It is found mixed with various chemicals, dust, stones and other impurities. This raw form of the fuel has to undergo many filters and refinements to reach its final product.
Petroleum is a very important fossil fuel which is used worldwide. It crude form is known as petroleum. After refining crude oil through different processes we reach to petroleum as its end product. Other products are also obtained from crude oil like , diesel, compressed natural gas(CNG), liquefied petroleum gas(LPG) etc.
The primary use of petroleum is its use in motor vehicles. Maximum cars and motorcycles nowadays run on petrol. Bigger and heavier vehicles like trucks, buses and tractors use diesel oil.
Petroleum during its refinement undergoes a lot of changes and produces a lot of by products as well. Petroleum is the end product. From crude oil to petroleum a lot of products are produced in between. Maximum of these by products are very useful and are used in various spheres.
What are petroleum products, and what is petroleum used for?
Petroleum products are the transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and feed stocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are present in nearly everything we use.
Listing the major uses of petroleum we find the following:-
- It is used in transportation, for running the vehicles on fuel
- It is sometimes used in power plants where coal is not used. Here diesel is used to produce electricity.
- One by-product of petroleum is lubricants. It is used as lubricating oil in various machinery and machine factories.
- Kerosene is a well known by product of petroleum. Is it used in household for lighting and cleaning purposes.
- It is used in dry-cleaning
- It is used in the construction of metal roads where tar is used.
- Candles are made out of paraffin wax. It is a byproduct of petroleum. It is also used in pharmaceuticals where paraffin and Vaseline is used
- In chemical manufacturing industry naphtha is used to produce fertilizers, explosives, polythene plastics, synthetic rubber, nylon, paints, pesticides etc.
There are many other uses of petroleum which haven’t been listed. Thus we see that petroleum is not only useful in one way but in numerous ways.
Talking about petroleum we can chance upon a few questions, like:-
What is the total reserve of petroleum on earth?
The total amount of oil reserves cannot be counted in a specific fashion. Different countries have different quantities of oil reserves. For example, based on a survey carries on in 2013 the non conventional oil reserves are found to be in Venezuela (20% of global reserves), Saudi Arabia (18% of global reserves), Canada (13% of global reserves), and Iran(9%).
What is the total no of by-products produced by petroleum?
There is total thirty-forty five by products of petroleum on whole. By the exact figure is unknown as many countries refine the byproducts even to produce more products.
What is the colour of crude oil?
Crude oil varies largely in its appearance and it all depends on its composition. Depending upon the proportions of impurities present and the type of impurities it is usually black or dark brown (although it may be yellowish, reddish, or even greenish).
How viscous is crude oil?
Crude oil’s viscosity can vary from a low-viscosity liquid to up to tar-like, nearly solid form. Classification according to the API degree: Light crude oil: API gravity higher than 31.1 °API (less than 870 kg/m³).
Side effects of petroleum
Like any other material that has its pros and cons. Petroleum too though being useful has its side effects along with its good points-
- Petrol is not environment friendly. It releases harmful gases containing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and nitrogenous wastes when burnt. Hence is it advised not to stand near vehicles? Using petrol meant destroying the pure air
- Another major side effect of excessive use of petroleum products are the rapid depletion of the fossil fuel reserves. It is not at all recommended able to use when the reserves of the whole world are at stake. But for now petroleum reserves are depleting fast.
- Very costly and gigantic machineries are required for their refinement and manufacture. This is therefore uneconomical. Huge capital is needed to set up a petroleum power plant.
- The chances of the power plant getting blown up are high. Hence adequate precautions should be taken for safe guarding it. Due to the highly flammable nature of petroleum it easily catches fire. Hence places like petroleum plants and petrol pumps become an easily target for the terrorists.
All of us are aware of the fact that this natural reserve is depleting fast. A day may come when there will be not a drop of it left to be used. Is this what we want to make of our beloved mother earth?
Serious steps have to be taken to develop cost effective and eco friendly alternate methods of energy sources so that we don’t have to lay our land on the remaining reserves of the fossil fuels. Scientists all over the world are developing newer technologies and vehicles to replace the conventional over usage of petroleum.
Let’s conserve the rest for our future generations. If we don’t we are slowly pushing them to doom. And we will be the ones whom they will blame for their irreversible fate