When we think of a barrel of oil, we immediately think of gasoline. But while this product is important and affects most of us on a daily basis, other oil byproducts impact us in more profound ways, acting as the pillars of today’s standard of living and contributing to life-saving innovations in healthcare and public safety.

More than 96 percent of all manufactured goods contain oil and natural gas byproducts, enabling breakthroughs in everything from transportation to healthcare.

After it comes out of the ground, crude oil is transported through pipelines, trucks and tankers to a refinery. Through the refining process, the oil is heated to various levels to produce different byproducts: gasoline and diesel, but also butane, kerosene, naphtha and petroleum-based lubricants.

Diesel is used to run heavy machinery in various industries, including agriculture, where farmers use tractors to help feed the world.

Butane is a byproduct used in refrigerators to keep things fresh and cold. It allows hospitals to store vaccines, medications and blood supplies, and it allows us to preserve our food.

Kerosene is a type of fuel commonly used for heat and light in underdeveloped countries. But it’s also a vital source of heat following natural disasters.

Naphtha is a building block for several types of byproducts used to create everything from solvents that lead to cleaning fluids, paints and ethers, to fuels used in camping stoves, lanterns or lighters. It’s also used to produce lightweight plastics like those found in prosthetic limbs.

Petroleum-based lubricants can be found in just about any type of machinery, but are vital in emergency tools like stretchers, jaws of life and rescue helicopters.


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Just one barrel of crude oil provides much more than just gas for your car- it provides life-enhancing innovations we use every day.

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