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Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occuring liquid. Petroleum has been sequestered since hundreds of millions of years, meaning that when burned, it reintroduces CO² into the atmosphere (hereby contributing to global warming). According to Rob Hopkins of Transition culture, petroleum was the most important substance during the 20th century and the current transition from a petroleum-based economy to a post-petroleum economy may well be one of the most important changes in the history of mankind.
Products made from it
From petroleum, several fuels are derived including LPG, butane, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, fuel oil (basically unrefined petroleum) and Diesel fuel.
Besides fuels, other products are also made from it, knowingly:
- Alkenes (ie for the manufacture of plastics or other compounds)
- Lubricants (ie machine/motor oils, and grease)
- Wax (for packaging frozen foods, among others)
- Sulfur/Sulfuric acid
- Bulk tar.
- Petroleum coke, used in speciality carbon products or as solid fuel.
- Paraffin wax
- Aromatic petrochemicals to be used as precursors in other chemical production.
- ? for the production of ammonium/potassium nitrate (used for fertilizers and pesticides)
Alternative products for petroleum-derived products
- See biomass and biofuel for fuels, for non-fuel transport options see Sustainable transport
- See Bioplastics (or other materials) as a alternative for plastic
- See plant fats and oils as an alternative to machine/motor oils/grease
- See concrete as an alternative to asphalt
- See beeswax, tar, resin, ... as an alternative to wax
- See green manure and feces as an alternative to nitrate-based fertilizers
The upside of gas prices' going up
While it's as fun as a sever beating there are some good things about gas prices going up though it's best not to share them with most people (don't you dare tell an Independent trucker driver you're glad gas prices are going up). Here's a list of ten of them.