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Petrochemicals

 

Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from crude oil, although many of the same chemical

compounds are also obtained from other fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas or from renewable sources

such as corn, sugar cane, and other types of biomass.

In the current context of petrochemicals, this chapter focuses on organic hydrocarbon compounds that are not

burned as a fuel and are generally known as crude oil products (or petroleum products).

This chapter describes how, on the basis of chemical structure, petrochemicals are categorized in to three

categories of petrochemical products olefin derivatives, aromatic derivatives, and synthesis gas.

Ethylene and propylene, the major part of olefin derivatives, are the basic source in preparation of several

industrial chemicals and plastic products whereas butadiene is used to prepare synthetic rubber.

Benzene, toluene, and the xylene isomers are major components of aromatic chemicals. These aromatic

petrochemicals are used in manufacturing of secondary products like synthetic detergents, polyurethanes,

plastic and synthetic fibers. Synthesis gas comprises of carbon monoxide and hydrogen which are basically

used to produce ammonia and methanol which are further used to produce other chemical and synthetic

substances.

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