Petrochemicals (also referred to as petroleum distillates) are chemical products derived from oil. Some chemical compounds made of oil also are obtained from different fossil fuels, like coal or natural gas, or renewable sources like corn, palm fruit or sugar cane.

The two most typical petrochemical classes are olefins (including gas and propylene) and aromatics (including benzene, toluene and xylene isomers).

The Primary Hydrocarbons

Raw crude oil and natural gas are refined into a relatively small variety of hydrocarbons (combinations of hydrogen and carbon). These are used directly in manufacturing and transportation or act as feedstock to create different chemicals.


A greenhouse emission that may be used as fuel and is commonly included in rocket fuel.


It is used to make plastics and films, also as detergents, synthetic lubricants, and styrenes (used to make protective packaging).


This gas has no colour nor odour and is used to produce polypropylene, a multipurpose plastic which can be used to produce blankets to structural foam.


It is employed in the manufacture of synthetic rubbers.


Benzene, toluene, and xylol are aromatic hydrocarbons. A significant part of gasoline, benzene is additionally used to make nylon fibres which, in turn, are used to make clothing, packaging, and plenty of different product.

The Many Uses of Petrochemicals

Petrochemicals are any products made from oil. You are probably aware that gasoline and plastic begin out as oil. However, petrochemicals are incredibly versatile and are incorporated into an enormous range of products ranging from groceries to rocket propellent. 


Petrochemicals play several roles in medicine because they are used to create resins, films, and plastics. Here are a few examples:

  • Phenol and Cumene are used to produce a substance which is essential for producing penicillin (a critical antibiotic) and aspirin.
  • Petrochemical resins are used for purifying drugs, therefore cutting prices and speeding the manufacturing method. They are as well employed in the manufacture of drugs including treatments for AIDS, arthritis, and cancer.
  • Plastics and resins created with petrochemicals are used to craft devices like artificial limbs and skin.
  • Plastics are used to make a large range of medical instruments too such as bottles, disposable syringes, and many more.


Most food preservatives are made from petrochemicals. Moreover, you will find petrochemicals listed as ingredients in many chocolates and candies. Food colourings created with petrochemicals are used in a surprisingly wide range of product like chips, packaged foods, and canned or jarred foods.


Everything from plastic layers to fertilisers is made from chemicals. Products such as silage, tubing or twine are also made from plastics. Petroleum propellants are used to transport foods (which are, of course, kept in plastic containers).

Household products

Since petrochemicals are primary elements into the production of plastics, films, fibres, synthetic rubbers, they are found in a wide array of house products such as crayons, Dyes, shampoo, detergents, carpets…