Flexi Says: It is hard to overstate the importance of hydrocarbons to modern life. Hydrocarbons have even been called the “driving force of western civilization.” You saw some ways they are used in the opening image. Several other ways are pictured in the Figure below. The most important use of hydrocarbons is for fuel. Gasoline, natural gas, fuel oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel, coal, kerosene, and propane are just some of the commonly used hydrocarbon fuels. Hydrocarbons are also used to make things, including plastics and synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Gasoline consists of saturated hydrocarbons such as butane, pentane, hexane, and unsaturated hydrocarbons such as alkenes and aromatics like benzene, toluene, etc.