Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. The prefix “petro-” is an arbitrary abbreviation of the word “petroleum”; since “petro-” is Ancient Greek for “rock” and “oleum” means “oil”.
Petroleum is one form of Petrochemicals and is separate from Organic Compounds. According to crude oil composition and demand, refineries can produce different shares of petroleum products. The largest share of oil products is used as energy carriers: various grades of fuel oil and gasoline. These energy-carrying fuels include or can be blended to give gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil, and heavier fuel oils. Heavier (less volatile) fractions can also be used to produce asphalt, tar, paraffin wax, lubricating and other heavy oils. Refineries also produce other chemicals, some of which are used in chemical processes to produce plastics and other useful materials. Since petroleum often contains a couple of percent sulfur, sulfur is also often produced as a petroleum product.
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