The industrial revolution of the 18th century, lead to an ever growing demand of fossil fuels.

Nowadays these energy sources (i.e. fossil fuels and their derivatives) provide most of the energy needed by modern societies, such as:
- Gasoline for cars
- Oil for heating, for machinery in factories etc.
- Oil to power most of the ships
- Kerosene for airplanes
- Oil to drive other machinery (tractors,  etc.)
- Oil, lignite and coal used in thermoelectric plants to produce electricity.

Other known petroleum derivatives are:
- Asphalt
- Paraffin that is used for manufacturing waxes and cosmetics (glycerin, lanolin, etc.)
- Miscellaneous plastics
- Gas used to lighters and gas canisters.