Advantages and disadvantages of Petroleum


Petroleum is the most precious source of energy in modern societies. Despite having driven and revolutionized the industrial world, this mineral offers advantages and disadvantages to humanity. Firstly, the fact that it has been the engine of industries is always present; Second at any time can be exhausted and society will lose its benefits. Advantages and disadvantages of oil

What is Petroleum?


Oil is a non-renewable natural resource that has been used as a source of energy from the moment of its discovery. It is a fossil fuel, which means it was naturally created from prehistoric remains of decaying plants and animals. The word oil comes from the Greek: πετρέλαιον, lit. Which means rock oil.

It is a combination of hydrocarbon molecules;  That contain hydrogen and carbon that sometimes exist as liquid known as crude oil and sometimes as vapor or natural gas.

Uses of Petroleum


Either because of ignorance or lack of interest. Many alone often conceive of oil as the hydrocarbon capable of providing energy to automobiles;  Ignoring the hundreds of uses and derivatives that come from their exploitation. While it is true that its main derivative, fuel, is used to cover the energy needs of the planet. Oil is also used as raw material in the manufacture of articles that are as common and everyday as wax to apply to soils or plastic containers, among others. With oil is also carried out the creation of paved streets, is used in the production of paraffin paper, in addition to being used as a sealing material in the construction sector.

Main derivatives

Crude oil is present in our daily life, knowing the uses and products that unknowingly come from this precious fossil-based hydrocarbon.

Gasoline and naphtha

Gasoline which is a type of fuel is the main source of energy used by internal combustion vehicles on the planet, as is the case of motorcycles, tractors and automobiles.

Fossil fuels

Within the fuels would have to differentiate them according to their use and destination. We have for example those of high octane used for airplanes, cargo transport, sea boats and others whose destination is the domestic or industrial use. Among the most used fuels we have:

  1. Gas oils, better known as diesel or diesel, these are widely used by trucks and public transport for their lower cost than gasoline.
  2. Kerosene, this transparent liquid that is obtained from the distillation of petroleum has multiple and different utilities: as solvent, for use in domestic heating, for use in jet engines and gas turbines and even, formerly it was used as Power source in lighting fixtures.
  3. Benzine or petroleum ether, is a raw material used for the manufacture of certain solvents and also as thinner for inks, waxes, bitumen, and industrial and/or cleaning products.
  4. Fuel, which is one of the heaviest fuels, is widely used as fuel in electric power plants, in boilers and gas ovens, as well as in ships and maritime vessels.
  5. Petroleum Gases which include butane gas and propane, being the most illustrative example, the bottle we use for cooking or heating, composed of butane gas, a type of liquefied gas derived from petroleum.

Derivatives for everyday use:

  1. Oils, used as lubricants and fats.
  2. Asphalt, commonly known for its presence on the ground of streets, highways and any type of surface structure for public use. In some industrial sectors it is also used as a sealing material.
  3. Additives often used in cars and industrial machinery.

Petroleum benefits

  1. It has an energy density, which makes it a profitable fuel source
  2. Easy extraction thanks to sophisticated machinery
  3. Easy transportation and versatile applications
  4. Provides electricity to power plants
  5. Becomes diesel fuel or normal gasoline
  6. It is a versatile source of energy in many industries

Petroleum disadvantages

  1. It is a non-renewable resource, once it is exhausted will end its benefits
  2. Oil spills damage ecosystem and marine coasts
  3. Studies indicate that a significant amount of oil enters the marine environment through natural filtrations
  4. Combustion of fossil fuels produces CO2 (greenhouse gas)
  5. Oil is flammable and must be handled with care.
  6. E oil use and extraction process is highly toxic to the environment.

Petroleum properties

Oil is found in nature, in solid, liquid, or gaseous state, these three phases can pass from one to another by effect of change of pressure and temperature. In terms of density, oil is lighter than water. Its specific weight is conditioned by physical factors and by the chemical composition of crude oil. 0.75-0.95 Kgr./lt. Increases with the percentage of asphalt.

On the other hand its smell is characteristic and depends on the nature and composition of the crude oil. Crude oil is aromatic. In other oils the odor varies, depending on the amount of light hydrocarbons and impurities.

The color of the oil varies from yellow to red brown and black. By reflected light, crude oil is usually green, due to fluorescence;  It also has viscosity which is measured for the time required for a given amount of oil to flow through a small opening. The oil is a non-renewable resource that has allowed humanity to develop its technological development. It is the largest source of fuels used by most industries.

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