Man's physical universe

xanabras

UNIT IX

SECTION 8

THE ALREADY VERY IMPORTANT PETROLEUM AND

NATURAL-GAS INDUSTRY IS ABOUT TO ASSUME EVEN

FAR GREATER IMPORTANCE AS A SOURCE OF RAW

MATERIALS FOR CREATIVE CHEMISTRY

Introduction.

The petroleum industry has come a long way since

that day in

1859 when Colonel Drake drilled for oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

The first modern use of petroleum was for the production of kerosene

for lamps. Then the development of internal-combustion engines

created the demand for motor fuels and lubricants. The increased

demand for gasoline brought about many advances in petroleum refining,

such as the cracking of gas oil so that the average yield of gasoline

from petroleum has been increased from 18 per cent in 1914 to

about 44 per cent in 1940. Modern automobiles have made necessary

the production of new specialized lubricants and special hightest

fuels.

Through research and cooperation the petroleum industry has

grown to a point where the social and economic structure of the United

States has been built around one of its greatest natural resources,

petroleum.

The Petroleum Industry Is the Fifth Largest in the United States.

The United States is the source of 66 per cent of the world's total

petroleum production, and three quarters of the world's production

is controlled by the Americas. Within its own borders, the United

States has petroleum supplies adequate to meet every need, including

synthetic rubber and high explosives. The total value of the products

manufactured from petroleum in the United States in 1939 was about

$2,500,000,000.

In other portions of the world, fuels obtained from the hydrogenation

of coal, and gases obtained from coal, wood, lignite, and coke

have been insufficient to supplement petroleum fuels for internalcombustion

engines. Automobiles, trucks, and buses have been

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