Q. What’s important but often overlooked?
A. Yes, your nose, but also Fossil Fuels!
A lot of people have no idea how much they rely on oil and natural gas in their daily lives. Most know that natural gas or LP furnace systems are used to heat their homes and gas equipment to cook their food. What they might not be aware of is that petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas – called feedstock chemicals – make possible the manufacturing of thousands of everyday items we depend on. As you can imagine, the cost of oil and natural gas greatly affects the price of these goods.
For example, the price of food is currently skyrocketing. Well, did you know that agricultural fertilizer is made using hydrogen from natural gas, and gas is the single most costly component used in its production? The high cost of natural gas translates into higher prices for fertilizer and other products necessary for modern farming, thus the soaring food prices.
Farmers aren’t the only ones being impacted by the steep price of fossil fuels. Food manufacturers report that the rising cost of plastics used for containers and packaging – also made using oil and gas – is a big contributor to price hikes.
And what about the beverage industry? Carbon dioxide is the most common gas used in the drink industry. It’s used to produce carbonated beverages such as soft drinks, beer, cider, and sparkling wine. One of the most efficient ways of capturing commercial carbon dioxide is from industrial plants that produce hydrogen or ammonia from … you guessed it, fossil fuels.
So, you can see how fossil fuels and the production of food and beverages – and the prices we pay for these items – are intertwined.
Here are a few other products that are manufactured using oil and natural gas feedstock chemicals. Some might surprise you: aspirin, bandages, cell phones, dishwashing liquid, insecticides, insulation, propane, and (ready?) solar panels and wind turbine blades.
Whatever the future of energy may hold, whether it’s a blend of natural gas and hydrogen, renewables and gas, or some other mix, fossil fuels are not going away. Maxitrol will continue to design systems and solutions for energy, ones that are available and affordable for everyone. All for a cleaner, safer future.