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Initially, gasoline was a by-product of the oil industry (kerosene was the main product). Over time, this changed and gasoline became the fuel of choice for cars because of its high combustion energy and its ability to mix easily with the air in the carburetor.

Most of the oil is produced by drilling in rocks onshore or offshore on the continental shelf and is the world's most important fuel source. It provides 38% of the world's energy and is also used for the production of petrochemicals.

Gasoline is used as a fuel for internal combustion engines. It is also used as a solvent for oils and fats.

Key takeaways

  • Crude oil is a mixture of many chemicals, mainly hydrocarbons, most of which burn well.
  • Refined oil can be used as fuel.
  • Gasoline makes up 45% of crude oil.
  • One chemist discovered petroleum jelly while he was on an oil rig, where he noticed workers smearing the wax applied to the rigs and drills on their wounds to heal them faster.



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