Creating more with less at ExxonMobil
By Engine Room Posted 9mth(s) ago
Ever heard of the phrase “engineering is everywhere?”
As engineers and technicians, innovation is second nature to us. While we might have different paths that led us to engineering, we can all admit we share a common love for creating. Because a big part of what we do every day involves making things work better, smarter, and safer, engineering is crucial to making cities liveable and our modern lifestyles sustainable.
With the help of ExxonMobil, we’re here to show you just how much engineering innovations are a part of our everyday lives. Wherever you may be reading this article from, take a look around you and try to identify all the products of engineering. Then, read on to find out whether you missed out something.
Fun fact: The energy giant needs no introduction, but did you know that Singapore is home to ExxonMobil’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex in the world?
Petrochemicals: The building blocks of everyday products
Reading this article from your laptop or phone? No matter what brand they may be, your devices have one thing in common - they’re made from the same raw materials that come from petrochemicals.
That’s right, from laptops and handphone screens to reusable face masks and even dabao containers, many other consumer goods we come in close contact with every day are made with petrochemicals, which form the foundation of plastic products and industrial chemicals.
As the production of petrochemicals become more sophisticated, ExxonMobil is also leading the charge in rethinking the way plastics are recycled. Imagine taking discarded plastic fishing ropes that were clogging up the ocean and polluting beaches, and transforming them into multi-purpose crates that live on and beautify our homes!
That’s not all. ExxonMobil engineers have developed trademarked raw materials such as Vistamaxx™ polymers and Escorez™ tackifying resins that provide sustainability benefits by helping to conserve resources, lower raw material use and increase production efficiencies. These raw materials are then processed into products and fuel a wide range of industries.
Here are just some of the ways petrochemicals impact our lives:
Making high quality materials for crucial medical supplies
Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve all become very familiar with face masks. What do petrochemical companies have to do with everyday medical supplies you may ask? You’ll be surprised to learn that petrochemistry contributes significantly to specialised products in the healthcare industry, thanks to high-quality polymers and halobutyl rubber which form critical components of medical grade equipment such as syringes, surgical gowns and pharmaceutical stoppers.
In fact, ExxonMobil staff around the world have been doing what they can to help doctors and nurses on the frontline by lending expertise to create protective gear and ramping up production of much-needed raw materials. The Singapore manufacturing complex has also worked to produce and supply raw materials that are then used in the manufacturing of essential healthcare/medical supplies such as surgical gowns and face masks.
Making sure our food and packages are protected
Plastic packaging comes in some shape or form in everything we use today, whether it’s the wrapping on your latest online purchase or your favourite bubble tea cups that come in all shapes and sizes.
Like ExxonMobil’s leading-edge resins and performance polymers, the raw materials used to make plastic packaging are made with incredible technology. This means you get to enjoy fresh foods and chips that stay crunchy in packaging that is lightweight, durable and recyclable. Plus, you get to do your part in being a responsible citizen by eventually dropping the used packaging in a recycling bin.
Making sure vehicles run smoothly
You don’t need to be a car fanatic to know that tyres are a key component of any automobile. Rubber is found in just about every tyre component, and halobutyl rubber in the tyre inner liners breathes more life into the tyres. It keeps tyres properly inflated, which not only makes for a smoother ride but also helps increase fuel savings and lower vehicle emissions.
Motor oil is also essential to keep your car humming. Petrochemical companies produce highly advanced, synthetic motor oils that protect engines and keep them running like new by fighting sludge build-up.
Making a difference every day
And there you have it. Thanks to petrochemicals and the end-products they help build, we can safely say that engineering not only is everywhere, but is essential to how we live our lives today. A staggering number of industries rely on game-changing innovations made by petrochemical plants, with healthcare, food packaging and automotive being just a few of the key ones. Who knows, you might just be working in one of these industries one day!
Ng Pey Ling, Process Engineer at ExxonMobil, sums up the work she does at the manufacturing complex daily, “Not many people know just how much of what we produce touches their lives. We are part of a talented, global team that creates often unseen and overlooked components that enables us all to eat, play, commute and work safely. With our strong innovation and expertise, the role of our industry is key to meeting today’s societal challenges – not just of today but of the future.”