What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

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From the gasoline in our cars to the plastic in our everyday products, crude oil is an important raw material that appears everywhere in our lives.

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

With approximately 18 million barrels of crude oil consumed in America per day, this commodity powers transportation, utilities, and is an essential ingredient in many things we use every day.

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This graph shows how much crude oil is refined into various finished products, using a barrel of oil to show the proportional distribution.

Crude oil is mainly processed into various types of fuel for electric vehicles and household purposes. More than 85% of crude oil is refined into fuels such as gasoline, diesel and liquid hydrocarbon gases (LPGs) such as propane and butane.

In addition to fuel for transportation, heating, and cooking, HGLs are used as raw materials for the production of chemicals, plastics, and synthetic rubber, and as additives for the production of automotive gasoline.

Crude oil not only powers our cars, but also helps pave the roads we walk on. About 4% of the refined crude oil is converted into asphalt, which is used to make concrete and various sealing and insulation products.

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Although transportation and utility fuels make up the majority of refined products, everyday materials such as wax and plastic also rely on crude oil. About 10% of the products are refined to make plastics, cosmetics and textiles, a barrel of crude oil can produce a number of products not expected every day.

Personal care products such as cosmetics and shampoos are made using oil products, as are medical products such as IV bags and pharmaceuticals. Modern life would be very different without crude oil.

You may have noticed that a barrel of oil contains 42 liters, which gives 45 liters of oil products. This is because most refined products have a lower density than crude oil, resulting in an increased volume known as refining income.

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

Additionally, there are other resources besides crude oil that are used in the refining process. Crude oil is the primary input, but fuel ethanol, carbon dioxide and other blending fluids are also used.

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The process of refining a batch of 30,000 barrels of crude oil typically takes 12-24 hours, and refineries operate 24 hours a year, 365 days a year. Although the share of individual refined products may change depending on market demand and other factors, the majority of crude oil continues to power the world’s transportation and utilities.

From the burning of heavy fuels that pollute icebergs found in Arctic waters to the mounds of petrochemical-made plastics that end up in our rivers, every barrel of oil and its refined products affects the environment in a different way.

But even as the world tries to reduce fossil fuel consumption to meet climate goals, a world without crude oil seems elusive.

An increase in electricity sales in places like Norway, California and China still hasn’t stopped oil consumption, and the continued opening of travel and austerity will increase oil consumption.

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A complete replacement of the multifaceted “black gold” contained in a barrel of oil is currently impossible, but as electrification continues and we find alternatives to petrochemicals, humanity can at least reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

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Energy visualization of 25 years of lithium production across the country Over the past few decades, lithium production has grown exponentially. Which countries produce the most lithium and how did this mix come about?

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

The light metal plays a key role in the cathodes of all types of lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles. Thus, the recent increase in electric vehicle adoption has pushed lithium production to new heights.

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The infographic charts above are based on data from the BP Global Energy Statistical Review of lithium production by country over the 25 years from 1995 to 2021.

In fact, in 1995 the United States accounted for a third of global lithium production. From then until 2010, Chile became a major producer and mining flourished in the Salar de Atacama, one of the world’s richest lithium deposits.

Global lithium production is expected to exceed 100,000 tonnes for the first time in 2021, a fourfold increase from 2010. And about 90% of that came from just three countries.

Australia alone produces 52% of the world’s lithium. Unlike Chile, where lithium is extracted from brackish water, Australia’s lithium comes from hard rock deposits for the mineral spodumene.

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China, the third largest producer, has a strong position in the lithium supply chain. In addition to developing domestic mines, Chinese companies have acquired nearly $5.6 billion worth of lithium assets in countries such as Chile, Canada and Australia over the past decade. It also has 60% of the world’s lithium recycling capacity for batteries.

Batteries have been a major driving force behind the exponential growth in lithium production. But how much lithium is consumed by the battery and how much goes to other uses?

Although lithium is best known for its role in storage batteries, it has many other important uses.

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

Before electric cars and lithium-ion batteries changed demand for lithium, the last ways the metal was used looked very different than they do today.

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In 2010, ceramics and glass accounted for the largest share of lithium consumption – 31%. In ceramics and glassware, lithium carbonate increases strength and reduces the thermal expansion often required for today’s glass ceramic cooktops.

Lithium is also used to make lubricants for the transportation, steel, and aerospace industries, as well as for other lesser-known uses.

As the world produces more batteries and electric vehicles, demand for lithium is expected to reach 1.5 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) by 2025 and more than 3 million tons by 2030.

For context, in 2021, 540,000 tonnes of LCE were produced globally. Based on the demand forecast above, production is expected to triple by 2025 and almost sixfold by 2030.

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While supplies are on an exponential growth trajectory, it can take 6 to 15 years for new lithium projects to come online. As a result, the lithium market is expected to become a scarce commodity in the next few years.

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The first step in the refining process is distillation, where crude oil is heated at extreme temperatures to separate the various hydrocarbons.

What Is Refined Petroleum Used For

Oil refineries play an important role in the production of transportation and other fuels. The components of crude oil after separation can be sold to various industries for a wide variety of purposes. Lubricants can be sold to industry immediately after distillation, but other products require further purification before reaching the end consumer. Large oil refineries have the capacity to process one hundred thousand barrels of crude oil per day.

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In industry, oil refining is commonly referred to as the “downstream” sector, while crude oil production is referred to as the “upstream” sector. The term “downstream” refers to the concept of an oil product being sent down the value chain to a refinery to be processed into fuel. The disposal phase also includes the actual sale of petroleum products to other companies, governments or private individuals.

19-20 gallons of motor gasoline, 11-12 gallons of distillate fuel (most of which is sold as diesel fuel), and four gallons of jet fuel. More than ten oil products are produced at oil refineries. Oil refineries produce liquids that the petrochemical industry uses to make various chemicals and plastics.

An oil refinery operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and requires a large number of employees. Refineries close or shut down for several weeks each year for seasonal maintenance and other repairs. An oil refinery can occupy several hundred football pitches. Prominent oil refining companies include the Koch Pipeline Company and many others.

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