Why can’t we just stop oil?

We don’t use oil for just gasoline and one of the key uses of a barrel of oil is the binding agent for asphalt, which electric cars also desire. From my We Can’t Just Stop Oil post on Briefed by Data:

Oil is refined by heating it, and different types of oil are boiled off at different temperatures. Figure 3 displays this. The issue is that one of the first products to boil out is gasoline, and the last is asphalt. You can’t just take a barrel of crude oil and say, “I just want asphalt.” Consider it like this: if you want any of the items in Figure 3’s list, you also get everything above them.

There are some bio substitutes such as vegetable oil, but the bottom line is getting rid of oil isn’t that simple. Read more at We Can’t Just Stop Oil and consider subscribing to Briefed by Data.

About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

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