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Do You Know What Else Crude Oil Makes?

Updated on February 18, 2014

You may think the price of oil has nowhere to go but up, and you would be right thinking this; however, have you ever stopped to think about the price of other products too? It seems like every time a visit to the grocery store or shopping center is warranted the prices of everything has continued to rise. These rising prices are not simply coincidences. They are linked because crude oil is not only present in the gasoline you buy to fuel your car, it is present in just about every other product in your house.


The next time you are out shopping, if you happen to buy a shirt or pair of pants that are stretchy they most likely contain processed crude oil products. The rubbers contained in artificial leather and other fabrics are produced using some form of oil. Even plastics like cooking utensils, auto and machine parts, insulation, tires, and many more all use oil at some stage in their production. The oil used comes in various processed forms with many different names but it is there.


Certain aspirins, antiseptics, and sulfa drugs contain crude oil products. Sulfa drugs, or sulfonamides, include antibacterial drugs, diuretics, and anti-convulsants. Not all medicines contain crude oil products and it is hard to distinguish which ones do and which ones do not because of the complex names of ingredients each medicine has listed.


Crude oil products can be found in certain solvents, astringents, cosmetics, and flavors. Again, chemical names included in ingredient lists make knowing which alcohol products contain oil/petroleum. Alcohols are not only important for consumption and beauty products, they are vastly important for sterilizing instruments and wounds in the medical field and they are key components in certain chemicals.


It is not very surprising that petroleum products are used in the manufacturing of asphalts. Asphalts include those used for paving, shingles, insulation, and paint. These products are crucial in the construction of houses and infrastructure, like roads. Asphalts are a key component in maintaining and defining the standard of living for first world countries like the United States.

Oils and Wax

Any kind of large machine you can think of, including transportation vehicles, need lubricates or grease in one form or another. Lubricants, greases, and oils are produced by some form of petroleum products. These types of essential oils would not exist if petroleum were not refined into different oil products and, therefore, transportation as we know it would not exist.


The fuel produced by petroleum is by far the most significant product oil has created. Petroleum burns more efficiently than wood and coal. It is the closest thing to pure energy that man has found, not including nuclear power that is not yet suitable for transportation and produces radioactive waste. Petroleum produces fuel for cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, and jets. In addition, oil products in the form of natural gas fuel the heating system for most houses in first world countries like the United States and Canada. Without these modes of transportation and forms of heating the modern technological world would cease to exist.


By-products of oil refining include fertilizers, ammonia, and sulfuric acid. Ammonia is a compound in most household cleaners and it is also found in fertilizers. Sulfuric acid is used to manufacture a wide range of chemicals from antifreeze to phosphoric acid and household drainage cleaners. These by-products are vastly important to people because of their many uses in the fields of household maintenance, agriculture, and transportation components.


Oil can also be a main ingredient in the production of some household items you may not have realized contain small amounts of oil. For example, oil is used in artificial sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame. Both saccharin and aspartame are used in food, candy, and drinks. Furthermore, saccharin is used to sweeten medicines and toothpaste. Oil products also produce some types of perfumes, dyes, and explosives. The production of these products may be more costly or impossible to make if it were not for the existence of oil.

Oil is not only in the gasoline in your car; it is in your clothes, food, household items, medicine, and practically everything else. It is extremely hard to find more organic forms of certain products, especially plastics. The next time you go shopping and start wondering why prices of almost everything continue to rise, do not simply blame the rising cost of transportation for the increased price of the products. Also consider that the rising cost of crude oil that gets processed and put in everyday household items. As oil production decreases in certain parts of the world, the production of these products will also surely decrease and cause an increase in prices. A plastic bowl that costs $5 now may cost triple that in coming decades.

© 2012 morningstar18


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    • morningstar18 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Thank you! I'm happy to hear you agree.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You are right

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      8 years ago from Pune( India)


      Crude oil is only substance after processing , everything is useful and no wastage, that is why we call it black GOLD.In India we were lucky to have some oil reserves though not enough to meet demand but we built oil industry due to own sources.

      Petrochemicals and series of products produced from this crude.

      Finally there is need of alternative fuel but crude oil is hydrocarbon and is a high performing fossil fuel which no other fuel (Bio-diesel) or any synthetic, can match.

      Thank you

      pramod gokhale

    • morningstar18 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Thank you for your comment and praise Anjili. Petroleum is in just about everything in our modern world.

    • Anjili profile image


      9 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      That was quite informative, especially that one of finding crude oil in medicine. I would never have imagined that. Nice work. keep up with it. Voted up

    • morningstar18 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      You are absolutely right on every point you brought up in your comment. There truly is no substitute for oil in the manufacturing of certain goods. Since oil became widely used at the turn of the last century it has permeated every aspect of our lives. People are the advanced we as a species have ever been and it is largely due to the discovery of oil as a fuel source and as an additive in manufacturing goods. It is even a bit scary to think about what may happen when all of the oil in the world is gone.

      Thank you so much for commenting. Your additional knowledge is important to get out there and I appreciate you explaining these things in more detail.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      9 years ago


      You gave a very good listing of the multiple uses for oil. The only thing I can add is that with current technology, there is only so much we can do to change what is produced from a barrel of oil. A barrel of oil is 42 gallons. From that you are going to get between 18 to 21 gallons of gasoline. At the present time with current technology you cannot do much about that. Through reforming, blending and other techniques, you can adjust the quanities of some of the other products.

      I have been making this point for a long time. There are a lot of things that can be used to produce BTUs, i.e., heat energy, which could be used to power cars and create electricity. However, there is nothing out there that has the versatility of oil, which is the building block for our civilization.

      Also, as an added note, the car that runs on gasoline, is made in part from oil products including the tires, seat covers, motor oil, antifreeze, insulation for wears, the interior molding, but bumpers, the paint, the break, gas and clutch peddles, brake fluid, battery casings, gaskets for fuel and air filters, etc. finally, do not forget all the plastic parts, such as light covers, knobs, center counsel for your CD collection, the floor mats and who knows what else.

      Even if we find a new motor fuel, we are still going to need oil to make the vehicles that will use these new fuels.

      Great hub, voted up and interesting.

    • morningstar18 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Thank you for commenting. I agree with your solution; however, I believe it is too simplified. What kind of alternative fuel do you have in mind? I believe fuel cell vehicles should be and will be the way of the future. Their ability to use the hydrogen in water to fuel a car with only oxygen being the waste product is great for the current global warming crisis. The present draw back with fuel cell vehicles is that they are expensive. I think the existing global economy is such that buying fuel cell vehicles are out of the question for most households. In reality, every solution has a setback; it is extremely hard to get people to look at the bigger picture that hydrocarbons cause harmful pollution.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      Brad Masters 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Do you have a solution for these other uses of oil?

      My solution is to go to alternative fuel for transportation, and use the oil for the rest of the products that use oil.


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