Petrochemicals are a category of organic chemicals derived principally from two feedstocks: natural gas liquids (NGL) obtained from natural gas processing plants, and oil refinery streams such as light gas oil. In the strictest scientific sense, petrochemicals are a set of very specific chemical compounds, which can be made from oil, natural gas, coal or other sources.
How Are They Produced?
Many petrochemicals are produced using extreme temperatures (over 1500 ⁰F) and pressures (over 1000 psi). This process requires large amounts of energy and sophisticated engineering. Because of these extreme operating conditions, energy consumption accounts for a significant portion of the total cost of production. As energy costs rise, the cost of doing business also rises. Access to inexpensive and reliable energy sources (such as natural gas) is essential for ensuring the U.S. petrochemical industry remains competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.
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