Petrochemicals are used to manufacture thousands of products people use every day — just about everything not made from rocks, plants, other living things or metal.
These products include things made of plastic (all plastic is derived from oil and gas – fossil fuels).
Plastics are used just about everywhere in our modern life, they are essential for medicines and medical devices, cosmetics, furniture, appliances, TVs and radios, computers, parts used in every mode of transportation, solar power panels and wind turbines, and not to mention mobile phones enjoyed by so many people. If it were not for plastic, it is unlikely Apple (the worlds first Trillion dollar company) would exist today. Gee, plastics are also essential for our trade, since many of us use plastic credit cards everyday!
For example to see how many by-products come from natural gas see: https://thenorwoodresource.org.au/article/how-dependent-is-society-on-natural-gas/
To see how many by-products come from crude oil see: https://thenorwoodresource.org.au/article/how-dependent-is-society-on-oil/
One of these is the simple chair, something we all take for granted most times.
It is pretty easy to determine that general office chairs contain plastics (legs, stand, wheels etc.) Plastics are obviously manufactured from petrochemicals. But what about the wooden chair?
In the production of a wooden chair, many tools are required. These include: Plastic and rubber clamps; electric bandsaws; belt sander; router… All of these tools have an element of petrochemicals in some of their working parts.
Whilst these tools are for single use and construction of the wooden chair, the wood of the chair must be glued together. The glue used for this has a few names, including: wood glue; white glue; carpenters glue… It is Poly (vinyl acetate), PVA, PVAc, poly (ethenyl ethanoate). The glue helps hold the chair together and is a part of the chair for the rest of the chair’s existence.
In general it is not only for aesthetics that the chair is then varnished, oiled, or stained, but also for the longevity of the chair, and for safety (to avoid the chair deteriorating, and avoiding potential splinters). Varnishes, oils and stains once again contain petrochemicals.
Moral of the story: Not only do petrochemicals help everyone relax in a comfortable chair, they also stop everyone from getting a splinter in the derriere!
Just another reason we need fossil fuels in our lives.
From the team at
The Norwood Resource (TNR).