In 19th century, SM was first isolated from the distillation of Storax, a natural balsam. Dow Chemical and BASF represented the first real breakthrough in SM technology before World War II. During World War II, SM became important in production of synthetic rubber and larger-scale plants were built. Since that time, being shifted its main use from synthetic rubber to plastics, the production of SM has grown enormously, reaching over 20 million tons globally per year so far.
In our plant, Benzene and Ethylene are alkylated to Ethylbenzene (EB). EB is then dehydrogenated to SM. Toluene and Hydrogen are co-produced and purified as by-products.
SM is one of the most important intermediates in petrochemical industry, used mainly in the manufacturing of PS resin, ABS resin, Styrene Butadiene Rubber and Unsaturated Polyester.