Petrochemicals are chemicals made from petroleum (crude oil) and natural gas. Petroleum and natural gas comprise hydrocarbon molecules comprising one or more carbon atoms to which hydrogen atoms are attached.
Oil and gas are the main sources of raw materials because they are the least expensive and most readily available.
Only about five percent of the yearly oil and gas is needed to make all petrochemical products.
Petrochemicals have dramatically impacted our food, clothing, shelter, and leisure. Some synthetics, tailored for particular uses, perform better than natural products because of their unique properties.