Petroleum - Research Article from Pollution A to Z

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 10 pages of information about Petroleum.
This section contains 2,798 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Petroleum Economy

Petroleum, like all fossil fuels, primarily consists of a complex mixture of molecules called hydrocarbons (molecules containing both hydrogen and carbon). When it comes out of the ground, it is known as crude oil, and it may have various gases, solids, and trace minerals mixed in with it. Through refinement processes, a variety of consumer products can be made from petroleum. Most of these are fuels: gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, kerosene, and propane are common examples. It is also used to make asphalt and lubricant grease, and it is a raw material for synthetic chemicals. Chemicals and materials derived from petroleum products include plastics, pesticides, fertilizers, paints, solvents, refrigerants, cleaning fluids, detergents, antifreeze, and synthetic fibers.

The modern petroleum industry began in 1859 in Pennsylvania, when a man named Edwin L. Drake constructed the first oil well, a facility for extracting petroleum from natural deposits. Since then...

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This section contains 2,798 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Petroleum Encyclopedia Article
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Pollution A to Z
Petroleum from Pollution A to Z. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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