Petroleum Used as Component in Everyday Products

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Crude oil has been used for centuries. One of the first uses was to light kerosene lamps. Today, gasoline is a major byproduct of oil, but that's far from the only use.

On average, one 42 gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest of the barrel is used to make products that consumers rely on every day: the car you drive, the roof over your head and some medicine you use all contain petrochemicals.

Thousands of products derive from petroleum.

"Every barrel of oil really is its own laboratory because it's producing the fuels and then everything that's left over is going to petrochemical manufacturing," said Kari Cutting, North Dakota Petroleum Council.

Other goods made of this organic compound include aspirin, cough syrup children's toys that contain plastic, crayons made of wax and even some electronics.

Cutting says almost every drop of crude oil in a barrel is used.

"The bulk of it say 60 to 70 percent goes to fuels, but that 15 to 20 percent that's left over are the feedstocks for petrochemicals," said Cutting.

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of 3 1/2 gallons of oil per day. An average consumer may not realize these items include dishwashing soap that is used almost every day.

And, it doesn't stop there, Many paints and paint thinners you find at Ace Hardware are made from petroleum. Ace Hardware owner Jeff Hinz says he prefers oil-based.

"The core and the best and the best products and the most useful, one's that work the best are always from a petroleum base," said Hinz.

Next time you pick up a product, don't be surprised if petroleum is a component.

Another interesting fact is that an average tire is made from 8 gallons of oil.