Oil gets a bad rep these days, but the stuff is actually quite incredible.
Many people think of crude oil as a thick, black liquid that is used to source our unquenchable thirst for gasoline. However, the reality is that each barrel of oil is refined to be used in a variety of applications that includes fuel, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, and candle wax.
Here is everything that can be made from just one barrel of oil:
- Enough gasoline to drive a medium-sized car over 280 miles.
- Enough distillate fuel to drive a large truck for almost 40 miles. If jet fuel fraction is included, that same truck can run nearly 50 miles.
- Nearly 70 kWh of electricity at a power plant generated by residual fuel.
- About 4lbs of charcoal briquettes.
- Enough propane to fill 12 small (14.1 oz) cylinders for home, camping or workshop use.
- Asphalt to make about 3.8L of tar for patching roofs or streets.
- Lubricants to make about a 0.95L of motor oil.
- Wax for 170 birthday candles or 27 wax crayons.
But that’s not all. After producing all of the above products, there’s also enough petrochemicals leftover to be used as a base for one of the following:
- 39 polyester shirts
- 750 pocket combs
- 540 toothbrushes
- 65 plastic dustpans
- 23 hula hoops
- 65 plastic drinking cups
- 195 one-cup measuring cups
- 11 plastic telephone housings
- 135 four-inch rubber balls
Oil is not a one-trick pony, and the gooey black liquid actually has thousands of applications. The above serves as one example of how a barrel could be used, but here’s a list of many other oil applications. It includes everything from guitar strings to antihistamines.
Whatever your opinion is of fossil fuels, it’s still pretty astonishing what can be produced out of each barrel of oil.
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