Petroleum is amongst the most reliable energy sources on earth. There are different organic chemical components derived from petroleum known as petrochemicals. They find extensive applications in different types of industries. According to an estimate, annually 5% of the oil produced all over the world is consumed in the manufacturing of petrochemicals. This is a clear indicator of the huge demand for petrochemicals.
Different countries around the globe are earning massive revenue from the industrial usage of petrochemicals. They are acting as the lifeline of many industries like plastic industry. Petrochemicals are put to different chemical reactions to produce substances which are also used in the manufacturing of a variety of products.
Despite all these applications of petrochemicals, there are also some drawbacks associated with them. This blog will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of petrochemicals in detail.
Easily Extracted Source:
Petroleum is the source of petrochemicals, and its extraction is not that difficult. Regardless of the geological conditions of the area, petroleum deposits can be extracted conveniently. The extraction process of petroleum is less time-consuming and does not require a complex manufacturing system.
Also, there are reliable technologies for the extraction of petroleum from land and water. Process of drilling and plumbing is used to get raw petroleum from the earth’s crust. Due to the ease of petroleum extraction, the production of petrochemicals also becomes convenient.
Reliable Manufacturing Process:
The manufacturing process of petrochemicals is time-tested and reliable. Over the years, the technology incorporated in the production of petrochemicals has become better. There is no unpredictability attached to the manufacturing mechanism. If the right material and equipment are used, there is almost 100 % probability of success. Due to the simplicity and efficiency of the already established manufacturing mechanism, there is no need for trying new techniques.
Wide Scope of Usage:
One of the biggest benefits of petrochemicals is its wide range of applications. Petrochemicals are serving as the backbone of a lot of industries. The making of products like petroleum jelly, PVC, soaps, detergents, and medicines use petrochemicals as the key ingredients. Petrochemicals are a major constituent of many automobile fuels like high-octane and diesel.
Also, many products made from petrochemicals are further used in different industries. For example, the wax obtained from petrochemicals is used in the making of candles.
High Energy Density:
Petrochemicals have a high energy density, which means that a smaller quantity can have greater energy stored in it. Due to this quality, petrochemicals are considered as an excellent automobile fuel. They have the ability to generate more power that can run heavy-duty vehicles like cars and trucks.
There is no second opinion regarding the great role of petrochemicals in economic growth. Different countries with petrochemical reserves are making billions of dollars through exports. Many industries based on petrochemicals are responsible for running other manufacturing mechanisms resulting in industrial development.
Petrochemicals are not the most environment-friendly manufacturing materials. The formation of petrochemicals takes place after burning fossil fuels. As a result of combustion, many harmful components are released in the air, including greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases play a major role in global warming. Petrochemicals can cause acid rain after mixing with water vapors.
Marine life is also not safe from the harmful environmental effects of petrochemicals. If a considerable amount of petrochemicals spill in the sea, it can be lethal to different marine species.
Petrochemicals are derivatives of fossil fuels which have limited reserves. Therefore, the source of petrochemicals cannot be considered as infinite. Due to this reason, industries dependent on the petrochemicals cannot be deemed sustainable for a long time. As the demand for petrochemicals will increase, its source will get more and more scarce. Not only this, but the lesser reserves of fossil fuel will also result in high prices of petrochemicals.
Petrochemicals are not only harmful to the atmosphere, but they also pose many threats to human health. The manufacturing of petrochemicals results in the generation of different toxic substances that require proper disposal. If this material is left unattended, it can get mixed in the water channel. When the affected water is consumed, it can cause a lot of health issues, including diarrhea, pneumonia, and other diseases.
One of the most notable drawbacks of petrochemicals is the risk of fire associated with it. There are many flammable constituents in petrochemicals that are vulnerable to ignition. Due to this reason, there is always a threat of fire breakout in the industries dealing with petrochemicals. A little leak from a valve can produce disastrous consequences. However, investing in topnotch valves, like the XHVAL diaphragm check valve, can make a huge difference.
It is recommended to take special care while dealing with petrochemicals and have a fire security system.
Difficulty in Transportation:
Due to the flammable nature of petrochemicals, their transportation becomes a difficult task. Whether the transport is done through sea or road, there is always a risk of spilling that can result in an accident. For that reason, many precautionary measures have to be taken to prevent any mishaps. The special care required for carrying petrochemicals results in an increase in transportation expenses.
Despite their convenient extraction, petrochemicals are not the most cost-efficient material. Its reason is that the manufacturing of petrochemicals involves certain processes that can be costly. Due to the risk factors, the preservation of petrochemicals is also treated with special care that adds to the expenses. In addition to that, transportation also increases the overall cost.
All the reasons mentioned above are responsible for the high cost of the products made from petrochemicals like fuel, medicines.
The importance of petrochemicals in different industries is undeniable. They are one of the most widely used materials for various manufacturing mechanisms. There are many advantages of petrochemicals, but they have some drawbacks too. By reading this, you now have a clearer picture of petrochemicals and their effects.