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Styrene is an organic compound and forms an important part of theIndian petrochemical industry. It is also known as styrol, styropol, and vinyl benzene. Being an organic compound it contains hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon as main constituents. Styrene is produced industrially from ethylene and benzene with the help of the intermediate ethylbenzene.

In recent times, the styrene industry is facing a slow down. For being an intermediate, the demand for styrene is dependent totally on the user end industry. The styrene's industry is suffering from an excessive built up of capacity. The industry of styrene requires a lot of capital investment for this industry is highly technology intensive. This is the reason that this industry is dominated by PSUs and private companies.

The price of styrene is highly volatile for it is totally dependent on the international market. The producers are forced to match the international prices even when it is not economically justifiable. Styrene is distributed through stockists, dealers, and distributors. And this addresses the market of smaller segments.

Large quantities of styrene are also sold to OEMs directly. The transportation of styrene requires careful handling for it easily evaporates. Also it is a toxin, a carcinogen, and an irritant, so it needs to be handled with extreme precaution.

Styrene is used to manufacture plastics of various kinds. They are:

  • ABS
  • Styrene- butadiene rubber (SBR)
  • Polystyrene
  • Styrene- ethylene
  • Styrene- divinylbenzene
  • Styrene- butadiene latex
  • Unsaturated polyesters

These materials that are produced from styrene is then used in the manufacture of insulation, pipes, fiberglass, automobile parts, plastic, food containers, carpet backing and rubber.

Sales of styrene have gone down in recent years. Efforts must be made by the petrochemical industry ofIndia and the government ofIndia to ensure that Styrene sales pick up again in the near future.

Last Updated on 13 December 2011