10 Surprising Uses for Oil and Gas

Science & technology

While most people typically associate oil and gas products with transportation or heavy machinery, not all of it goes into fuelling cars and jet planes or powering motors. From snow skis to shower curtains, oil and gas are versatile feedstocks that go into a host of everyday goods. Scroll down and learn about 10 of these items.

    1. Solar panels: Do you know how solar panels work? The photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity rely on plastic polymers made from petroleum to seal the panels from moisture and ensure they can efficiently generate power.Solar panels
    1. Electric vehicles: Electric vehicles couldn’t be made without petroleum products. Take for example the thousands of large and small plastic parts that go into each car. This results in lighter, more efficient vehicles that can travel longer distances before needing to be recharged.Electric vehicle charging
    2. Wind turbines: Wind turbines can’t spin well without lubricants derived from oil. Not only is lubrication needed to run the gearboxes for the wind turbines’ motors, the blades themselves are made with reinforced epoxies and petroleum-based adhesives to hold them together.
      Wind turbines near Palm Springs.
    3. Prosthetic limbs: Lightweight plastic-based resins give artificial limbs more flexibility and mobility. The limbs can even be 3D printed to custom-fit their owners, helping people reclaim their independence.
    1. Laminated glass: Upon impact with an object, car windshields are more likely to remain intact when shattered. Underpinning this achievement is a thin layer of plastic that holds windshields together. It’s a big deal that helps keep passengers safe.
      inside a car
    1. Sports equipment: From balls and bats to goals and protective materials, most sports equipment is made from petroleum-based plastics and polymers. For athletes, these lightweight materials can boost their performance, maybe even making the difference between first and second place.Basketball
    2. Smartphones: Your phone is made from more plastics than you realize. The brain of any smartphone is composed of copper and gold circuits affixed to a wafer-thin plastic board. The touch screen is also made using liquid crystals sandwiched between plastic and glass.
      smartphone
    1. Shoes: Unless you’re wearing wooden clogs, it’s very likely that parts of your shoes are made from petroleum, including the foam soles and the adhesives that hold sneakers together. Many “leather” shoes today aren’t actually made from leather, but polyurethane, a faux leather derived from petroleum products.Shoes on a rack
    1. Crayons: The bright and colourful crayon is made from petroleum-based paraffin wax and color pigments. These fun, everyday playful drawing tools have enriched children’s lives around the world for generations.
      colourful crayons
    1. Road surfaces: Ancient Egyptians used bitumen – also known as asphalt – to embalm mummies. Today this same bitumen ensures a smooth driving experience by sealing cracks on paved roads as well as different types of roofs.
      a road
Tags:   bionic limbsfake leather shoesgasoilsmartphonessolar powersustainable energywind power
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