- Overview of the Chemical Petrochemicals Industry:
- Petrochemicals are chemicals made from petroleum (crude oil)
and natural gas. Petroleum and natural gas are made up of hydrocarbon molecules, which
are comprised of one or more carbon atoms, to which hydrogen
atoms are attached.
Currently, oil and gas are the main sources of the raw materials
because they are the least expensive, most readily available,
and can be processed most easily into the primary petrochemicals
listed on the left.
Only about five percent of the oil and gas consumed each year
is needed to make all the petrochemical products.
- Petrochemicals have had a dramatic impact on our food, clothing,
shelter and leisure. Some synthetics, tailored for particular
uses, actually perform better than products made by nature because
of their unique properties.
- Primary Petrochemicals:
- "Primary Petrochemicals" include: olefins (ethylene,
propylene and butadiene) aromatics (benzene, toluene, and xylenes);
- Olefins are unsaturated molecules of carbon (C) and hydrogen
(H) that appear as short chains, of two, three or four carbons
Aromatics contain a six carbon ring structure. The oxygen/hydrogen
(OH) group in methanol denotes that it is an alcohol.
- Graphics and Text Adapted from: Canadian
Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA)