As well as its use in engines, hydrocarbons are a first-level raw material for producing items of great value and daily use such as plastics, garments or medications, objects without which we would find it hard to explain modern-day living.
The main material made from oil products is plastic. It is used for an enormous range of products: toys, food and drink packaging, cases for mobile phones and household appliances, PVC piping, etc. It is also used in the production of detergents and cleaning products; furniture and clothes of synthetic fibres, insulation, paints, etc.
A large number of healthcare drugs and products are made from oil products: common medicines such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin, or items such as syringes, throw-away packaging, protheses, etc.
Daily-use cosmetics in our society are oil-based, e.g. a wide range of make-up products, creams and ointments, dyes and almost any beauty product you can imagine. The synthesis of oil products has enabled the universalisation of cosmetics, thanks to the enormous demand for them worldwide.
Synthetic fibre of petrochemical origin have contributed major technological solutions and improvements in sports and other leisure activities. Carbon fibre, which is light and flexible, is used in musical instruments instead of protected tropical wood species, and in many other applications such as skateboards and snowboards, as well as being widely used in the automotive and aeronautics sectors.
Books, magazines and paints
Solvents are an oil-based product used in inks for magazines, books and newspapers. They basically consist of pigments mixed with solvents. Chemical products such as turpentine spirit are also mixed with paints or used for cleaning purposes.
Clothing and textiles
The clothes we wear contain combinations of different fabrics. Some of the common ones are lycra, nylon or polyester, all of them oil-based products. Then there are fabrics that replace animal skins, used not only in the fashion, clothing and sports worlds but also in furniture, machinery, piping, etc.