Petrochemicals are the number one hardware industry product derived from different hydrocarbons derived from crude oil and natural gas. The petrochemical industry is known to produce different kinds of stocks, among which petroleum gasses, kerosene, natural gas, and others are the most famous ones. Not only are these chemicals helpful in building different types of products, but they also form a significant part of economic development, and the value they add is higher than most sectors in the industry.
The birth of a petrochemical industry
The first-ever petrochemical industry entered India in 1970, and since then, it has grown in the country and enhanced and imprinted its importance in the world. They mainly comprise the following:
- Synthetic rubber or elastomers
- Performance plastics
- Synthetic fiber
From then till today, the petrochemical industry has increased sharply in every sphere like clothing, furniture, environment, automobiles, horticulture, agriculture, electronic appliances, irrigation, and packaging.
Classification of petrochemicals
Typically, petrochemicals are of two types:
- Olefins like ethylene and propylene
- Aromatics like toluene, xylene, benzene, and other isomers
In many chemical plants, steam cracking and other methods are used to derive natural gas and other precuts. The other products developed through catalytic reforming and other prices are detergents, adhesives, solvents, and many others.
As mentioned above, the primary forms of petrochemicals are different into different groups, mainly based on their chemical structure:
- Olefins include butadiene, ethene, propene, and other butenes. Among these, propylene and ethylene products are essential for manufacturing plastic and other industrial chemicals, and butadiene is used in manufacturing synthetic rubber.
- Aromatics are the type of petrochemicals that comprise xylenes, toluene, and benzene which fall under the umbrella of BTX and are used in the extraction of many catalytic reformers from petroleum refiners.
- Synthetic gases are formed as a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide to produce another gas called methanol which is used for developing synthetic products. However, this cannot be confused with steam crackers, mainly used to produce ammonia.
- Natural gases like butanes, ethane, propane, and methane
- Formaldehyde and methanol
Application of Petrochemicals
- One of the primary advantages of petrochemicals is their use in fuels. Petroleum is one of the best applications for using petrochemicals, which is used in an automobile for combustion engines.
- The generation of petroleum jelly is another important by-product of petrochemical manufacturing, which is used in cosmetic products and other beauty industries.
- Detergent is the best and the essential part of the application of petrochemicals as they are widely used in the industry. They also make use of synthetic alcohol or other raw materials as petrochemicals.