Benzene is a by-product of the Refinery, Naphtha Cracker, Paraxylene and Steel plant processes. Benzene (C6H6) is an aromatic hydrocarbon and one of the primary chemical building blocks for the petrochemical industry.
Benzene is extracted from two primary sources: pyrolysis gasoline (pygas), which is a co-product of ethylene manufacture; or reformate, a refinery stream resulting from the catalytic reforming process used in gasoline production. Benzene can also be made by hydrodealkylation of Toluene.
It is used to produce a number of petrochemical intermediates such as ethylbenzene for styrene production, cumene for phenol and acetone, cyclohexane and nitrobenzene.
The largest derivative outlet for benzene is ethylbenzene, an intermediate used in the production of styrene, which is further converted into materials such as polystyrene.
Benzene is also widely used to produce cumene, which in turn leads to phenol, a component in phenolic resins and adhesives; cyclohexane, a precursor of caprolactam and adipic acid, both used in nylon and aniline, a material needed to produce methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) which is used in urethanes and other speciality applications.