Petroleum derivatives are all those products that have been processed in a refinery and in which petroleum acts as the main raw material. The best known are probably those used to obtain energy. However, there are many others that are used to produce chemicals or even everyday objects.

Oil, known as black gold, is one of the most precious raw materials and fuels. Once extracted, it is subjected to a distillation process by which its different components are separated. It is precisely these components that are used directly or indirectly to create petroleum derivatives.

What are the most commonly used petroleum derivatives in everyday life?

Fuels such as gasoline or diesel, asphalt and tar, plastic products, oils and lubricants, detergents and insecticides, paint thinners, fertilizers, soaps, synthetic fabric, perfumes and solvents, latex, vaseline, solar panels, synthetic rubber, vinyl records.

These are all petroleum products used in different sectors of society.


Petroleum and its derivatives are the main source of industrial energy. Diesel and gasoline fuels, for example, are the best known and most widely used worldwide in vehicles, ships and all types of machinery.

Products made from petroleum

But we must also mention the various components involved in the manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines, the materials used in the manufacture of wiring, insulators or plugs, or the fuel and energy used in heating systems. All of these are petroleum derivatives.

  • Electrical generation, such as fuels.
  • Components for the manufacture of solar panels, wind turbines…
  • Wiring, insulators, plugs.
  • Heating systems.
  • Thermal insulation.


These products derived from black gold are also of enormous importance in the mobility sector. Gasoline, diesel, fuel oil or kerosene are fuels that enable land transport vehicles and ships to move. In addition, oils and lubricants are petroleum derivatives that are essential for the maintenance and operation of this type of machinery.

Tar and asphalt are also two fundamental petroleum derivatives in the mobile industry. The same applies to all components used in the manufacture of automobiles and all types of vehicles, helmets and other safety systems and devices.

  • Land transportation: gasoline and diesel
  • Air and maritime transportation: fuel oil, kerosene.
  • Lubricants.
  • Asphalts.
  • Components for the manufacture of vehicles.
  • Helmets, protections and safety devices.

Everyday life

Many of the objects and devices that we use in our daily lives are, precisely, derived from petroleum. In this case, we are talking about various household appliances and many electronic devices. Also, household linen and furniture, food packaging, detergents and solvents, insecticides, perfumes, paint thinners, fungicides, etc.

  • Household appliances and electronic devices.
  • Household furniture and clothing.
  • Food packaging.
  • Detergents and cleaning products.
  • Clothing, footwear and accessories.
  • Sports equipment.
  • Toys and games.

Health and wellness

Finally, many products within the healthcare sector are also made from or are manufactured using petroleum derivatives. Syringes and disposable consumables, eyeglasses, hearing aids, orthopedic products, bandages, pharmaceuticals, petroleum jelly, skin softeners and emollients, creams, soaps, etc.

  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Syringes, tubes and other single-use consumables.
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids and other items to improve vision and hearing.
  • Orthopedic products.
  • Bandages, plasters.