Chemistry and its socioeconomic impact

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Chemistry and its socioeconomic impact[edit]

The topic of this page is chemistry and its socioeconomic impact.

I welcome contribution on this page.

Currently I (Jolie) am employed as a Quality control, Product Development chemist at a Oil refinery.

Fuels such as Gasoline and Diesel have a large impact on our society. I want to explore some of its effects and broaden my exposure to the social sciences.

(please take a moment to evaluate this article in the discussion page. the criteria I am interested in is described in this project. Learning_to_learn_a_wiki_way])


Contributors: Jolie 16:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Gasoline (wp) (or petrol) is a fuel consisting of a liquid of light hydrocarbons. It serves as an important fuel that is used to distribute both people and goods throughout the world. productions, consumption and resulting emmission (of resulting pollutants) have important political and social effects throughout the world.

Gasoline is typically produced by petroleum oil. Petroleum is a non-renewable fossil fuel. What are the social, and political effects of gasoline? How does the ramifications of producing it, distributing a significant portion of it to the developed world affect our society? How are political and social forces altered by our dependance on this fuel?

HISTORY OF CRUDE OIL, Issues in Sustainability[edit]

Contributors: Jolie 17:44, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

An early petroleum industry was established in the 8th century, where oil tar was used to pave the streets of baghdad and kerosene lamps were described in 9th century Baghdad by Al-Razi, A persian alchemist. The arabs also invented a flammable distillate for military purposes . For a long time, Whale oil was used to supply lighting needs of Europe. The modern oil industry started from the innovation of a poland pharmacist named Jan Łukasiewicz (wp). He was seeking an improvement in distillation techniques that were used to convert coal to a kerosene; which was first demonstrated by Abraham Gresner in 1846.

On the night of July 31 1853, doctors at the local hospital needed to perform an emergency operation, virtually impossible by candlelight. They therefore sent a messenger for Luka and his new lamps. The lamp burned so brightly and cleanly that the hospital officials ordered several examples plus a large supply of fuel. Luka realized the potential of his work and quit the pharmacy to find a business partner and then travelled to Vienna to register his technique with the government. Lukasiewicz moved to the Gorlice region of Poland in 1854 and sank several wells across southern Poland over the following decade, setting up a refinery near Jasło in 1859.

One could claim that the oil industry began due to the unsustainability of whale oil (which by the 1850's was rising in price). It also seems likely that the use of petroleum served to prevent the extinction of whales by ever increasing energy use.

In 1863 a russian ,Djavid Melikov built an oil refinery near the mature oil fields of Baku (now Azerbaijani) refining 90% of the worlds oil supply. The boom of oil and its importance lead to great population growth. Between 1856 and 1910 Baku's population grew at a faster rate than that of London, Paris or New York.

In America, Edwin Drake (given the title 'colonel' to impress local residents; who generally weren't impressed and called his project Drakes folly) began drilling for oil amoung the oil seeps of northwestern Pennsylvania in 1859. After nearly exhuasting the funds he financiers had given, success came on the morning of August 28. By 1871 much of the surrounding country side was littered with oil wells and by 1901 (previous to the large finds in Texas) northwestern Pennsylvania was producing 1/2 the worlds crude oil.

The two early birthplaces of oil took a brutal ecological beating reaping enormous profits before oil had really been converted one of its most useful products. During the 19th century, the product we now call gasoline was merely a solvent and medicine. Crude oil's principle product kerosene being increasing consumed as a fuel for lighting. Its use would diminish after 1878, when electric lighting an innovation of Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan began to compete with the Kerosene lamp. Instead motor fuel would create new and much larger demands on the oil industry early in the 20th century.

What does the birth of Petroleum industry say about the way we adapt to unsustainable practices? Historically, it is a good example of how one new technology (petroleum) can overtake a technology that is not sustainable and struggling. However, we also see that technological innovation can drastically alter consumption and not always for the better.

Contributors: Jolie 11:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Further readings[edit]