Petrochemistry


Petrochemistry is that branch of chemistry that in the form of industry exploits, refines and produces all petroleum derivatives and natural gas. The procedure carried out by the field of petrochemicals is very complex, the raw materials derived from these industries are today essential for the development of life in society. The fuel, domestic gas, fertilizers, asphalt and other compounds of the black oil and the gas that is between the rocks of the earth are used to provide essential services such as transportation, heating, planting and food production.

Many countries depend on the petrochemical industry as their main source of income. Venezuela, for example, bases its economy almost entirely on oil and natural gas, because its privileged geographical position allows it to exploit one of the most abundant reserves on the planet. Other items such as those produced by the agricultural sector are responsible for less than 10% of the country’s monetary income.

In petrochemicals for the extraction of oil and natural gas, complex processes are used to open deep holes in the earth’s crust, because the fossil content that is required is in the layers closest to the center of the earth in small (relative to the planet size) reservoirs. With giant mechanical drills and special pipes that keep the cavity lubricated and in position. After extraction, this crude product travels through large conductive tubes to “Crude” refining plants, as oil or natural gas is called, before being processed. From the chemical processes applied here, products for commercial, domestic and industrial use are derived, such as lubricants, fuel (diesel, gasoline, diesel), cooking gas and substances such as Vaseline.

Among the natural gases that are extracted in petrochemical processes are methane, propane and butane. When oil is extracted, a series of products are derived from these, depending on the type of oil obtained. Combinations between petrochemical products and other industries can result in the creation of plastics, rubbers and resins that are used to make objects such as rubber, rubber bands, vehicle parts, furniture, balls, among others.