Need for Petrochemical Alternatives

Production of Materials‎ > ‎2. Biomass Research‎ > ‎

Discuss the need for alternative sources of the compounds presently obtained from the petrochemical industry


  • Renewable Resource: A resource that can be regenerated and hence can last indefinitely.
  • Non-renewable Resource: A resource that cannot be regenerated and hence cannot last indefinitely.
  • Petroleum is a non-renewable resource and the earth’s supply of this substance will eventually be consumed.
  • Projections predict that the world’s supply of petroleum will only extend into the early decades of this century, although this will depend upon changes in the rate of consumption.
  • The world is heavily dependant on compounds obtained from the petrochemical industry (notably for fuels and plastics), and when the world’s supply has been exhausted, alternative sources of these compounds will be required.
  • Alternative sources that are renewable would be favourable as their use would prevent:
    • Facing the same problem of exhaustion that petroleum will be facing soon.
    • In the case of compounds used as fuels, causing the release of more carbon into the carbon pool in the form of carbon dioxide (which causes climate change)
Prediction of world petroleum production rates