Petroleum is one of the most widely used fossil fuels, and it has become ubiquitous that no one blinks an eye whenever they fill up their vehicle with it. But, if you use petroleum on a daily basis, have you ever thought about where it comes from, how it impacts the world, and why it has been the subject of heated debates over the years? If not, you need to learn about the advantages and disadvantages that this yellow-to-black fuel and understand why it has lots of supporters as well as opponents.
List of Advantages of Petroleum
1. It can produce a large amount of energy.
Petroleum is a highly dense fuel source. In fact, just one kilogram of it can release around 10,000 kilocalories when burned. This means that it doesn’t require a lot of petroleum to generate enough energy to power vehicles and machines.
2. Its technology and infrastructure are already in place.
Since petroleum has been widely used over the years, the technology for obtaining it has been almost perfected. As a result, people can now extract petroleum even in places that are difficult to reach, such as beneath the surface of the ocean and areas with extreme climates. The infrastructure for transporting and storing this fuel is also in place, which means that there’s no need to develop new systems to ensure it reaches consumers.
3. It can be used in a wide range of applications.
Since petroleum has been around for some time, people have found a lot of uses for it. It can now power cars, trucks, boats, and other kinds of vehicles as well as machines that are used in manufacturing and other industries.
List of Disadvantages of Petroleum
1. It can lead to environmental pollution.
Extracting and refining pollution produces a substantial amount of toxic materials. If these are improperly disposed, they can leach into the ground and spread harmful chemicals that can pollute rivers and streams and kill animals. Burning petroleum also emits high amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases, which can pollute the air, contribute to the greenhouse effect, and lead to global warming.
2. Its sources are finite.
Petroleum is taken from fossil fuels, which require millions of years and special environmental conditions before they can be produced. This means that petroleum is essentially a finite fuel source and can run out in the next few decades. In fact, fuel companies already find it hard to extract petroleum from the usual sources, which is why they now have to explore deep oceans and other areas. If people can’t find other energy sources and remain entirely dependent on petroleum, there will come a time when there won’t be enough left to sustain the world.
3. It can be harmful to health.
As mentioned above, the production of petroleum creates toxic materials which, if not disposed of properly, can leach into the water table. When this happens, people would be drinking polluted water and suffer from a wide range of illnesses. The consumption of petroleum in vehicles and machines also leads to high emissions of CO2 and other harmful gases, which can cause respiratory illnesses including asthma and pneumonia.
Petroleum has several advantages and disadvantages, and governments, scientists, and ordinary people should weigh these factors carefully to know if they should continue using petroleum or not.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.