Oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is immiscible with water, and its state depends on the surrounding temperature. However, it is miscible with other oils hence referred to as lipophilic. Oil can be obtained from animals, plant products, or naturally (crude oil).
Oils have hydrogen and carbon compounds in their structure, and therefore, they are flammable.
Uses of oil
Oil has favorable properties, and therefore, it is used by different people for different purposes.
Some of the uses of oil are;
1. Used as fuel
Products of crude oil like kerosene, natural gas, and petrol are used as fuel in the kitchen and other places. In industries, oil products are used to provide energy to run machines and also to provide electricity. However, when used as a cooking fuel, it is advantageous as less soot and smoke are produced. Negatively, oil as fuel is expensive as compared to other sources of energy.
2. Cooking purposes
Cooking oil is one of the common uses of oil worldwide. Improves the flavor of food; many foods are fried. Fried foods are delicious and always have a good texture than when boiled. Therefore, cooking oils play a vital role in flavoring and modifying the texture of the food. Cooking oil is extracted from animal products like butter and oily plant-like sunflower.
3. Textile industry
In the textile industry, petroleum-based products are used in the making of clothes and also shoes. Most of the clothes are made of petroleum-based fibers. These fibers include nylon, acrylic, polyester, spandex, etc.
Other products like vegan leather are used in shoe-making industries as they equip shoes with durability and water resistance properties.
4. As coolants
Oil has the ability to easily conduct the heat away at a faster rate and has a higher boiling point as compared to other fluids. And therefore, it is used as a coolant for some heat and electric devices. For example, oil is used as a coolant in the X-ray device and electric transformers.
5. As a lubricant
Oil-based products are slippery in nature, and this makes them a good lubricant. Grease, a by-product of oil, is widely known for its lubricating benefits to moving wheels and other parts. Also, these oil lubricants are nonpolar in nature, and therefore they don’t corrode with the moving parts.
6. Cosmetic industry
The cosmetic industry mostly relies on oil to make their products. Hair conditioners, body oils, and other beauty cosmetics are some of the products of oil. They help to give hair and skin a lustrous look, treating dry skin, promoting the growth of hair, and some help to control skin rashes and pimples.
7. Religious use
Since the old day’s oil has been an important liquid when it comes to religious matters. Some of the religious rituals are accompanied by the sprinkling of oil for the purpose of purification or repentance. Most of the religious leaders or preachers have anointing oil, which they use when carrying out religious activity.
8. Medical purposes
The medical sector depends largely on oil products. Most of the medicines contain oil; for instance, aspirins and pharmaceuticals contain petroleum. Also, oil products are used in making medical plastics like heart valves and artificial limbs.
9. Oil and painting
Oil plays an important role in the paint-making industry. It is used in the extraction of color pigments from the plant, it is mixed with the plant to be extracted, and then they are crushed together. During painting, the paint is mixed with oil products as color pigments are easily suspended in oil.
10. Oil and rusting
Oil can be used to control and minimize rusting. Applying oil on a metal surface prevents the metal from getting wet since oil is immiscible with water. Also, the oil act blocks the reaction of air (oxygen) on the metal, therefore preventing rusting from occurring.
Oil-based products like petroleum are used in making agricultural products. Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are some of the products made from petroleum. These products help to ensure the agriculture industry run smoothly and to increase yields.
12. Oil and furniture
Most of the furniture is composed of oil components/products. The material filled in the furniture cushions is a product of petroleum. Oil finish is also used on the furniture to make them look good and have a smooth texture. Material that is used to beautify furniture like carpets is also made from oil products.
13. Making plastics
This is one of the main uses of oil. The Plastic-making industry uses an oil-based product like petroleum to make plastic. These plastics are used for different purposes, and therefore they are of importance to human beings.
14. Cleaning agents
Cleaning soaps and detergent are petroleum-based products. Therefore, petroleum is an important raw material during the manufacture of soaps and detergents. These products help a human being to live in a clean environment.
15. Manufacture of candle
The candle, which is a substitute for electricity, is manufactured using oil-based products. Oil compounds present in the candle make it to produce when it is lit. It, therefore, provides an alternative way of producing light.
16. Transport industry
The transport industry benefits a lot from oil products. Diesel and petroleum, which are products of oil, are used to run the engine of the vehicle and are considered as one of the most important things in the transport industry. Moving parts are greased to minimized friction and the noise caused by friction. Also, most of the vehicle parts are made of plastic, which is a petroleum-based product. In conclusion, oil is vital to the transport industry.
17. Household products
Most household products use oils in their production. Plastic cooking utensils, cleaning detergents, construction materials, cooking fuels, housing insulators, pillows house paints, among other substances, are all oil-based products.
18. Electronic industry
Oil-based products are associated with insulating and heat resistance properties and, therefore, can be used in electronic components. Plastics present in these electronics are also products of oil. Examples of electronic components that are derived from oil are computers, phones, televisions, fridges, etc.
19. Manufacture of antiseptics
Oil can be used in making oil-based antiseptics. Oil is nonpolar, and therefore when applied to a wounded or an injured area, it may help to kill bacteria. Most of the medical antiseptics are petroleum-based.