Can you Imagine what will happen if one day the entire world runs out of oil? Yes, you guessed right, our daily life will come to a complete halt. That is how much we rely on oil in our day-to-day lives. Right from transport and electricity to many small things in our homes, all contain oil or some or the other compounds of it.
Why Do We Need Oil?
In the U.S., two-thirds of oil is used for transportation. It is also used to produce products that are used by the industry and for household purposes. It is used for making oil-based lubricants that are used in industries. Oil is also used to produce electricity. In some regions, it is used to heat homes and residential areas during cold climates.
Just a simple example, the toothpaste you use daily is made up of a type of petroleum compound. Even your shampoo, soap, shaving cream, perfumes, nail polish etc., have some or the other type of petroleum compounds like crude oil or natural gas in it.
Other uses of oil includes, use as fuel in form of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), gasoline (petrol), diesel fuel, kerosene, jet fuel, and fuel oils. It is used as lubricants for motor oils, greases, machine oils, etc. Bulk tar, asphalt, paraffin wax, petroleum coke, aromatic petrochemicals, etc. are also products made from oil.
History of Oil Consumption
Oil products have been used by man since the ancient times. But as man followed a simple lifestyle, the use of oil was also limited. Asphalt was used over 4,000 years ago for construction of walls and towers in the city of Babylon. The Persians used oil in medicines as well as for lighting purposes. It was also used as a waterproofing material for ships.
Ignacy Lukasiewicz invented kerosene by the distillation of petroleum in the 1850s. It was henceforth used as a substitute for whale oil. The uses of oil became more and more widespread with the invention of internal combustion engine, plastic, and commercial aviation.
With the advancement in technology, there is a significant increase in the consumption of oil. However, scientists are working towards finding viable and widely available alternatives.