Fossil fuels.
Extraction of oil

Petroleum products

Petroleum products

Oil, also known as black gold, is one of the most important natural resources in the world. It is a natural substance of fossil origin, present in the Earth's subsoil. It originated over millions of years from the decomposition of plants and animals, which classifies it as a fossil fuel.

Crude oil is, in its original form, a complex mixture of cyclic and acyclic hydrocarbons, along with other compounds. For its use, the petrochemical industry carries out a refining process in order to separate and purify its various components.

Below we show the main petroleum products:

1. Gasoline: fuel for cars

Petroleum productsGasoline is one of the most well-known and widely used petroleum products in the world.

It is the main fuel for cars, trucks and motorcycles, making it an essential element in the transportation sector. Gasoline is obtained through a fractional distillation process of crude oil, in which its components are separated according to their boiling points.

It is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons that vary in molecular weight and chemical properties to meet performance and emissions standards.

2. Diesel: fuel for transportation

Diesel is another petroleum product that plays a vital role in the transportation industry, especially trucks, ships, and trains.

Like gasoline, diesel is obtained through the fractional distillation of crude oil, but its composition is different, which provides greater heating value and efficiency in diesel engines.

Its importance lies in its ability to move large loads efficiently, making it an essential component of the global supply chain.

3. Kerosene: aviation fuel

Petroleum productsKerosene is a petroleum product commonly used as aviation and heating fuel.

In aviation, kerosene is essential for the operation of jet and turboprop engines, enabling global air transportation.

Additionally, kerosene is also used in stoves and lamps to provide light and heat in areas where there is no access to electricity.

4. Lubricating oils: reduction of friction

Lubricating oils are petroleum products used to reduce friction and wear in engines, machines and industrial equipment. These oils are essential for the operation of internal combustion engines, transmissions and other mechanical components, as they reduce friction between moving parts and dissipate heat generated during operation.

Lubricating oils are produced from distillation and subsequent processes that remove impurities and improve their viscosity and thermal stability properties.

5. Asphalt: construction of roads and pavements

The asphalt used in the construction of roads, pavements and roofs is obtained by distilling the heaviest components of crude oil, making it resistant to wear and inclement weather.

Asphalt is mixed with aggregates such as gravel and sand to create durable paving mixtures that withstand vehicle traffic and harsh weather conditions.

6. Tar: paving and waterproofing

Petroleum productsTar is a product obtained through distillation. It is used in road paving, roof waterproofing, wood protection, sealants and in the chemical industry.

Thanks to its viscosity and strength, tar plays an essential role in various construction and preservation applications.

7. Plastics: ubiquity and versatility

Plastics are petroleum products that have a ubiquitous presence in modern life. From food packaging to electronic devices and consumer products, plastics are essential in a variety of applications.

These materials are produced from chemical compounds called polymers, which are created from the polymerization of petroleum hydrocarbons. Plastics are valued for their durability, versatility and low production cost.

8. Chemical and pharmaceutical products

Oil is also the raw material for the manufacture of a wide range of chemical and pharmaceutical products. These include industrial chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, medications, personal care products, and many others.

The chemical industry relies heavily on the availability of petroleum derivatives to produce compounds that are essential for manufacturing and innovation.

9. Other petrochemical products

Petrochemicals are chemical compounds that are derived from crude oil and used as raw materials in the manufacture of a wide variety of products.

In addition to the petroleum products mentioned above, there are the following:

  • Synthetic fibers: Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, are produced from petrochemicals and are used to make textiles and strong materials, such as clothing, upholstery, and ropes.

  • Industrial chemicals: The chemical industry relies on a wide range of petrochemicals, including organic and inorganic chemicals.

  • Personal care products: Many personal care products, such as lotions, creams, perfumes and cosmetics, contain ingredients derived from petrochemicals, such as mineral oils and waxes.

  • Adhesives and Sealants: Adhesives and sealants used in construction, the automotive industry, and manufacturing of various products often contain components derived from petrochemicals that provide adhesion and sealing properties.

  • Agrochemicals: Agrochemicals, such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, are derived from petrochemicals and are essential to modern agriculture, helping to protect crops from pests and diseases.

  • Paints: many paints and coatings contain petroleum derivatives in their formulations. Solvents, often hydrocarbon-based, help dissolve pigments and make paint easier to apply. Additionally, binders, such as alkyd oils, are also derived from petroleum and are used to improve paint adhesion and durability.

Publication Date: December 18, 2022
Last Revision: November 2, 2023