Petrochemicals are chemicals derived from petroleum or natural gas. They are an essential part of the chemical industry as the demand for synthetic materials grows continually and plays a major part in today’s economy and society. Petrochemicals are used to manufacture thousands of different products that people use daily, including plastics, medicines, cosmetics, furniture, appliances, electronics, solar power panels, and wind turbines.
It’s important to note that the biggest concern about fossil fuel use is from combustion, turning these hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. So while there are environmental concerns about petrochemical manufacturing of plastics, it doesn’t lead to a significant release of greenhouse gases that can cause climate change. For example, the plastic manufacturing is capturing the carbon in an inert form (the plastic) and not releasing it to the atmosphere.