The Surprising Ways in Which Petroleum Affects Our Daily Lives


Horse Cowboy

 

When I envision an oil company, I see Rock Hudson in a cowboy hat, riding his trusty mustang into the sunset with pumpjacks pumping away in the background. Either that or a bunch of exceptionally well-groomed middle-aged men in white suits and cigars conspiring world domination. However, I am aware that actual 21st-century oil companies, such as Delek US, are actually technological innovation champions who work together to develop cleaner energy sources for a better world. Many people in the industry still wear those cool hats, though.

From propelling global airborne and marine trade to investing in reducing flaring emissions and carbon footprints, the oil industry impacts many areas of our lives. But I wondered, since I don’t own a private jet (yet), are there any Petroleum (aka oil) products I use daily without even realizing it?

Do you hear the people sing?

I recently upgraded my living room sound system, complete with a gorgeous new set of speakers. While researching which speakers to buy, I discovered there are two types of speaker cones – paper pulp cones like those used in amplifiers and Polypropylene cones generally recommended for cars and home use (which I eventually opted for).

Delek US produces Propane and Propylene used to manufacture Polypropylene. Polypropylene is a recyclable (taking just 20-30 years to disintegrate compared to over 500 years for some other plastics) plastic that is both flexible and stable. Its high durability, moisture resistance, and electronic insulation render it perfect for making low distortion speakers with a long life expectancy. That moisture resistance property is why most of my dishwasher-safe plates, and stain-resistant sofa fabric, are also made of Polypropylene.

This is no snake oil we’re talking about here

The moldable, light, and flexible Polypropylene is used to manufacture car bumpers that absorb impact in collisions, minimizing repair costs and preventing injuries. It’s also used to make a wide variety of medical supplies and devices. Its high strength-to-weight ratio and high impact strength mean it can withstand the demands of orthotics and prosthetics.

A nonwoven fabric made from Polypropylene, similar to the one protecting my sofa from getting marinara stains all over it, is used to create antibacterial wound dressings and pharmaceutical wipes. Propylene is also a main ingredient of an advanced antibacterial polymer used to coat medical supplies, such as catheters, cutting down on the length of hospital stays and the pain (and costs) brought on by extracurricular bacterial infections.

Oiling the wheels of progress

Well-being is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think about oil. Biodiesel and jet fuel can have positive effects on our lives from time to time, but most of us barely have contact with either of them. On the other hand, blasting the speakers with our favorite band is something most of us enjoy pretty often. Oil-based technology is expanding to fields other than energy, impacting the quality of our daily lives in new ways. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly important to examine how a prominent Petroleum refining company like Delek US adapts healthy, sustainable, and humane practices throughout its activities. And that’s precisely what this blog intends to do.