Product Finder

The chemicals listed below represent a comprehensive set of all those produced by Full Members of GPCA. Each chemical has a short description, followed by links to the member profiles of those companies that produce it.

This Product Finder is powered by ExxonMobil Chemical.

A-Z of Chemicals:

Acetic acid

Acetic acid is largely used to manufacture vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), which is used in the production of base resins for water-based paints, adhesives, paper coatings, films, textile finishes and chewing gum. The second largest derivative is purified terephthalic acid (PTA), with demand being driven by a boost in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resins and polyester fibre. Acetic acid can be produced from methanol.

Acetic anhydride

Acetic Anhydride is derived from acetic acid. Its largest application is for the conversion of cellulose to cellulose acetate, which is a component of photographic film and other coated materials. It is used in the production of aspirin and also as a wood preservative.

Acetone

Acetone is mostly used in the manufacture of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and bisphenol A (BPA). It also goes into solvent applications and is used to make a number of chemical intermediates, such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isophorone and diacetone alcohol/hexylene glycol. Acetone is mostly produced from cumene, from which phenol is also manufactured.

Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)

Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is the largest volume engineering thermoplastic resin. Major uses are in the automotive and electronics sectors. Other applications include appliances, pipes, fittings and other construction products, as well as recreational items such as boats, mobile phones and games consoles and Lego. ABS can also be blended with other polymers such as polycarbonate (PC) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for use in injection moulding applications.

Ammonia

Ammonia’s main use is in fertilizers, where it is processed into products such as ammonium nitrate (AN), urea, ammonium phosphates and ammonium sulfate. Ammonia is also used to produce nylon, acrylonitrile (ACN), isocyanates, hydrazine and explosives. It is used as a catalyst in phenol-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde condensation to make synthetic resins. Ammonia is produced by reacting nitrogen and hydrogen under high pressure and temperature.

Aqueous formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is predominantly used in the manufacture of adhesives and resins. It is usually traded in the form of an aqueous solution. Formaldehyde-based materials are key to the manufacture of automobiles, and used to make components for the transmission, electrical system, engine block, door panels, axles and brake shoes.

Benzene

Benzene is a bulk chemical used to produce several intermediates, including styrene, phenol, maleic anhydride (MA), alkylbenzenes and chlorobenzenes. It is also used to make anthraquinone and hydroquinone, benzene sulfonic acid and other products in drugs, dyes, insecticides and plastics. The main source of benzene is from pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) co-produced by steam cracking naphtha, gasoil or condensates to make olefins.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is predominantly used in the production of polycarbonates, which are used in a wide range of applications, including packaging, medical and healthcare applications, electronics and uses in the construction and automotive sectors. Epoxy resins are the other main downstream market, with end uses in adhesives and coatings. Other uses for BPA include flame retardants and unsaturated polyester resins. It is produced from phenol and acetone.

Butadiene

Butadiene also known as 1,3-butadiene is used primarily as a monomer in the manufacture of synthetic rubbers – its largest single use is in the production of styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) which is principally used in the manufacture of automobile tyres. Other synthetic rubbers include polybutadiene rubber (PBR) – tyres and plastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polychloroprene (neoprene) – gloves, wetsuits and foams and nitrile rubber (NR) – hoses, gloves, seals. It is mostly obtained as a by-product in the steam cracking of naphtha.

Butanediol (BDO)

Butanediol (BDO) is a chemical intermediate used in the production of polymers, solvents and fine chemicals. The largest consumer is tetrahydrofuran (THF), used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG), which goes into spandex fibres, urethane elastomers and copolyester ethers. The next largest outlet is polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).

Butanol

N-butanol (NBA) and isobutanol (IBA) have some uses as solvents but are primarily used as feedstock for other products. NBA is used as an intermediate chemical in the production of butyl acrylates. IBA is a solvent that serves as an intermediate in the manufacture of a number of chemical products such as esters, plasticizers, paints and paint solvents, and as a diesel and gasoline fuel additive. Butanols are derived from propylene.

Butene-1

Butene-1 is a bulk organic chemical compound and one of the isomers of butene. The alpha-olefin is a highly flammable gas. Butene-1 is produced either by separation from crude C4 refinery streams or from the dimerization of ethylene. Its main application is as a comonomer in the production of certain kinds of polyethylene, such as linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE).

Butyl acetate

Butyl acetate (butac) is a colourless, flammable liquid, most commonly used as an industrial solvent. End uses include lacquer solvents in automotive paint and surface coatings for wood furniture, and in a variety of coating resins including epoxies, urethanes, cellulosics, acrylics and vinyls. Butac is made commercially by esterification of acetic acid with n-butanol (NBA).

Butyl acrylate

Butyl acrylate is used chiefly to make acrylic polymers and polyethylene (PE). It is used in formulating paints and dispersions for paints, inks, and adhesives. Other uses include cleaning products, antioxidant agents, amphoteric surfactants, aqueous resins and dispersions for textiles and papers. It is made from ester grade acrylic acid and a small excess of butanol.

Butyl glycol ether (BGE)

Butyl glycol ether (BGE) is a versatile organic solvent used widely in the surface coating industry. Other applications include printing inks, cleaners and mineral oil emulsions. BGE can be refined into speciality chemicals, which can be used in stain removers, plasticizers and crop protection.

Butyl rubber

Butyl rubber is the copolymer of isobutylene and a small amount of isoprene. It is used in tyre inner tubes, as an additive in lubricating oils and motor fuels and as a binding agent in plastic explosives. Butyl rubber sealant is used for damp proofing.

Carbon black

Carbon black is mainly used as a reinforcing filler in tires and other rubber products. In plastics, paints and inks, carbon black is used as a colour pigment. It is produced by combusting oil or gas with a great deal of oxygen inside large furnaces.

Calcium chloride

Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound usually derived from limestone. It is a salt which is highly soluble in water. By lowering the freezing point of water, calcium chloride is used to prevent ice formation and is used to de-ice. It is also used in the road surfacing, water treatment and food industries.

Carbon fiber

Carbon fibers are usually combined with other materials to form a composite. Their qualities include high stiffness and tensile strength and low weight. Due to this, the strongest demand sectors for carbon fibers are aircraft & aerospace, wind energy, as well as the automotive industry.

Caustic prills

Caustic prills are small white pearls, which offer certain advantages over flakes. Caustic soda, is an inorganic compound with applications across a broad number of chemical processes and in the refining of minerals and neutralisation of acids. Downstream markets include the manufacture of pulp and paper products and metal processing.

Caustic soda

Caustic soda, is an inorganic compound with applications across a broad number of chemical processes and in the refining of minerals and neutralisation of acids. Downstream markets include the manufacture of pulp and paper products and metal processing. Caustic soda is produced by the electrolysis of sodium chloride solution using membrane, mercury or diaphragm cells. Chlorine is also produced as a co-product.

Chlorine

Chlorine is used to manufacture many products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), organic and inorganic chemicals, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as chemicals for water treatment and sterilisation. Chlorine is manufactured with its co-product, caustic soda, primarily by the electrolysis of sodium chloride solutions.

Cumene

Cumene is a bulk organic chemical produced from feedstocks benzene and propylene. Most cumene is used in making phenol and its co-product acetone. Downstream, the largest phenol derivative is bisphenol-A (BPA), which in turn supplies the epoxy resins and polycarbonate (PC) sectors.

Cyclohexane

Nearly all cyclohexane is used in the production of nylon intermediates adipic acid (ADA), caprolactam (capro) and hexamethylene diamine to make nylon 6 or 6,6. Smaller outlets are as a solvent, a reaction diluent and in chemical synthesis. It is also a starting material to produce cyclohexanol-cyclohexanone (KA Oil). Most production is based on the catalytic hydrogenation of benzene.

Diammonium phosphate (DAP)

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) is an ammonium phosphate used predominantly in the fertilizer industry, with other applications including industrial uses and animal feed. It is one of a series of water-soluble ammonium phosphate salts that can be produced when ammonia reacts with phosphoric acid.

Diethylhexanol (2-EH)

The oxo-alcohol 2-EH has some uses just as a solvent, but is primarily used as feedstocks for other products such as plasticizers – chiefly dioctyl phthalate (DOP). Smaller amounts are used to make 2-EH acrylate, 2-EH nitrate, a diesel fuel additive and lube additives. The main commercial route is the oxo process, comprising the catalytic hydroformylation of propylene with carbon monoxide.

Dimethyl formamide (DMF)

The primary use of specialty chemical DMF is as a solvent with a low evaporation rate. DMF, a colourless liquid, is used in the production of acrylic fibers and plastics. It is also used as a solvent in peptide coupling for pharmaceuticals, in the development and production of pesticides, and in the manufacture of adhesives, synthetic leathers, fibers, films, and surface coatings. It is a derivative of formic acid.

Dioctyl phthalate (DOP)

Dioctyl phthalate (DOP) is a plasticizer derived from the oxo-alcohol 2-EH. It is widely used as a plasticizer in the manufacturing of articles made of PVC. DOP is one of the most extensively used plasticizers in plastics processing. Its key end markets include the construction, appliance and automotive industries.

Elastomer

Elastomer is often used as another name for rubber and is derived from the term elastic polymer. Its applications include seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts. Elastomers can be stretched to many times their original length, and can bounce back into their original shape without permanent deformation.

Epichlorohydrin (ECH)

ECH is used in the manufacture of epoxy resins for surface coatings, castings, laminates and adhesives, as well as specialty resins for water treatment, paper treatment and ion exchange, to purify air and water. It is a raw material for glycerine derivatives. It is made from propylene and chlorine, although glycerine can also be used.

Epoxy resins

Most common epoxy resins are produced from a reaction between epichlorohydrin (ECH) and bisphenol A (BPA). They are commodity resins that are useful in encapsulating electrical and electronic components. Epoxy resin adhesives can be used on metals, construction materials and most other synthetic resins. They are also strong enough to be used in place of rivets and welds in certain industrial applications. Other applications include coatings, construction, automotive and civil engineering.

Ethanolamines

There are three main ethanolamines: mono-ethanolamine (MEA), di-ethanolamine (DEA) and tri-ethanolamine (TEA). MEA’s main use is in the manufacture of ethylene amine, personal care products/detergents, industrial surfactants used in crude oil and shale gas exploration and wood treatments. Applications for DEA include herbicides, detergents and personal care products and treatment of acid gases in refineries. A large portion of TEA goes into detergents and personal care products. They are produced from ethylene oxide (EO) and ammonia.

Ethoxylates

Ethoxylates are derived from ethylene oxide and are popular surfactants used in industrial processes. Fatty acid and fatty alcohol ethoxylates are two well-known products. They are used in applications such as shampoo and kitchen cleaners, advanced detergents, emulsions and pharmaceuticals.

Ethyl acetate

Ethyl acetate (etac) is an active solvent that is mainly used in industrial lacquers and surface coating resins. It is also used as an extraction solvent in the production of pharmaceuticals and food, and as a carrier solvent for herbicides. Miscellaneous uses include adhesives and solvents. Etac is mainly produced by the esterification of ethanol or ethylene with acetic acid.

Ethylbenzene

Ethylbenzene (EB) is an intermediate produced mainly for use in the manufacture of styrene monomer (SM), with the majority of material produced for captive use. A small percentage is used in solvent applications. Most EB is produced by the alkylation of benzene with ethylene.

Ethylene

Ethylene is a bulk commodity chemical used mainly to make polyethylene (PE). Other major uses are ethylene oxide (EO), ethylene glycol (EG), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as well as intermediates such as styrene. It is a colourless gas that is produced commercially by the steam cracking of a wide range of hydrocarbon feedstocks.

Ethylene dichloride (EDC)

EDC is made from the chlorination of ethylene. About 95% of ethylene dichloride (EDC) is used to make vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), most of which goes into polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production. Chlorinated solvents are another end use. Many EDC plants are integrated with VCM production, with EDC being cracked to produce VCM.

Ethylene glycol

Ethylene glycol (EG) is derived from ethylene and is mainly used in the production of polyester fibers, resins and films. Polyester fiber is the main consumer, followed by use in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin and then automotive antifreeze. Other applications include de-icing fluids, surface coatings and unsaturated polyester resins.

Ethylene oxide (EO)

Nearly all ethylene oxide (EO) is produced by the direct oxidisation of ethylene. EO is primarily used as an intermediate. The majority of EO output is used in the production of ethylene glycol – most is converted to monoethylene glycol (MEG) for polyester fibers, resins and antifreeze formulations and PET film for packaging. Other derivatives include glycol ethers.

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), a type of synthetic rubber, is an elastomer characterized by a wide range of applications. It is commonly used in vehicles as a seal for doors and windows and is also used in cable connectors and insulators. It is a copolymer of ethylene and propylene.

Ethylene propylene rubber (EPR)

Ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) is a type of synthetic elastomer used in electrical cable insulation and in many flexible rubber goods such as hoses as well as seals for cars. It is derived from ethylene and propylene.

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is the copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate, and an elastomeric polymer. Applications include hot melt adhesives, emulsions and coatings. EVA foam meanwhile is used as padding in equipment for various sports – it is typically used as a shock absorber in sports shoes. It is a downstream market of VAM.

Ethyleneamines

Ethyleneamines are reactive intermediates used primarily to produce other useful chemicals. They are found in a wide range of downstream products including asphalt additives, bleach activators, chelating agents, fuel additives, rubber processing additives, surfactants, textile additives, urethane chemicals, wet strength resins, wood preservatives and pharmaceuticals. They are derived from ethanolamines.

Ethylhexanol (octanol)

Ethylhexanol or 2-EH, has some uses just as a solvent, but is primarily used as feedstocks for other products such as plasticizers – chiefly Dioctyl Phthalate (DOP). Smaller amounts are used to make 2-EH acrylate, 2-EH nitrate, a diesel fuel additive and lube additives. The main commercial route is the oxo process, comprising the catalytic hydroformylation of propylene with carbon monoxide.

Expandable polystyrene (EPS)

Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid cellular form of commodity plastic polystyrene. The largest outlets are in building and construction sectors, where applications include foam, road construction, bridges, drainage, flotation and sound insulation, and in packaging, particularly for food and delicate electronics. Other uses include providing protection in crash helmets and as decoration in design work.

Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)

Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) is derived from butandiol. GBL is an intermediate in the manufacture of pyrrolidones, which are widely used industrial chemicals. It is used in paint stripping, the production of herbicides and as a processing aid in the production of pharmaceuticals. It has outlets in electronics and high-performance polymers.

Glacial acrylic acid (GAA)

GAA is a fine chemical widely used for the production of superabsorbent polymers. It is used in the pharmaceutical and pesticide industries and also as an additive in solvents and adhesives. Acrylic acid is derived from propylene. The acrylic acid is then purified to produce GAA.

Heavy alkyl benzene (HAB)

Heavy alkyl benzene (HAB) is a byproduct in the production process of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) production. It is used as heat transfer oil and lubricating grease and is found in metal surface treatment products, including galvanic and electroplating products. N-paraffin and benzene are the main feedstocks for LAB.

Hexamethylene tetramine (HMT)

HMT is a specialty chemical, a crystalline, solid material, which is produced starting from formaldehyde and ammonia and is mainly used in the resin and rubber industry. HMT goes into phenolic resins and phenolic resin moulding compounds, where it is added as a hardening component. These products are used in the automotive industry where they are used as binders, e.g. in brake and clutch linings. Other applications include explosives, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers.

Hexene-1

Hexene-1 is a bulk organic chemical manufactured via the oligomerization of ethylene or by using on-purpose technology. It is an alpha olefin used to make certain grades of polyethylene – linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is used in producing chlorides, acidizing petroleum wells, ore reduction and ore refining in the production of tin and tantalum, as a pickling and metal-cleaning agent, for pH adjustment and in general cleaning. It can be directly synthesised from electrolysing salt solution.

Iso-butanol

Iso-Butanol is a solvent that serves as an intermediate in the manufacture of a number of chemical products such as esters, plasticisers, paints and paint solvents, and as a diesel and gasoline fuel additive. The main commercial route is the oxo process, comprising the catalytic hydroformylation of propylene with carbon monoxide.

Linear alkyl benzene (LAB)

Linear alkylbenzene (LAB) is an organic compound used almost wholly as an intermediate in the production of surfactant linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS). LAB has also emerged as an important feedstock for producing biodegradable detergents and other cleaners. LAS is used widely in the manufacture of detergents for household and industrial use. N-paraffin and benzene are the main feedstocks for LAB.

Linear alpha-olefins (LAO)

Linear alpha olefins are a range of industrially important alpha-olefins, commonly manufactured by two main routes – the oligomerization of ethylene and by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. 1-butene, 1-hexene and 1-octene are mainly used as comonomer in the production of polyethylene.

Melamine

Melamine is used to make a molding powder that has many uses, from making dinnerware and automotive parts to buttons and appliances. Adhesive resins made from melamine are used in the production of plywood, chipboard, truck and railcar flooring, marine plywood and toilet seats. Melamine is produced by heating urea, ammonia and carbon monoxide.

Melamine formaldehyde (MF)

Melamine formaldehyde is a hard, thermosetting plastic material made from melamine and formaldehyde by polymerization. It is used in plastic laminate and overlay materials and is used extensively in automotive coatings, epoxy coatings and polyester appliance coatings. Once set, it cannot be remolded or set to form a different shape.

Methanol

Most production of bulk chemical methanol is based on natural gas, naphtha or refinery light gas. Methanol’s main derivatives are formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), dimethyl ether (DME) and biodiesel. Other derivatives are dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), methyl methacrylate (MMA), methylamines, chloromethanes, glycol ethers and methyl mercaptan. It also has many general solvent and antifreeze uses.

Methyl methacrylate (MMA)

The largest use for methyl methacrylate (MMA) is to make polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which once cast or molded is clear, hard, UV transparent and resistant to gamma rays. Another major application is in surface coatings. Methacrylate butadiene styrene resins are used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and in food and pharmaceutical packaging. Production is based on acetone.

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) mainly goes into the gasoline blending pool to boost octane levels. MTBE is also used to produce methyl methacrylate (MMA) and pure isobutene by back-cracking. This product is in turn used to make isobutylene isoprene rubber. The reaction of isobutene with methanol over a catalyst bed produces MTBE.

Methylene di-phenylene isocyanate (MDI)

Most MDI is used in polyurethane (PU) foams. The largest outlet is in rigid foams used in construction, refrigeration, packaging and insulation. MDI is also used to make binders, elastomers, adhesives, sealants, coatings and fibres. Other outlets include binders and microcellular products. MDI is made primarily from nitrobenzene.

Mixed xylenes

Mixed xylene is a mixture of ortho-, meta- and paraxylene and a certain amount of ethylbenzene. It is mainly used as a synthesis intermediate or as a solvent by the chemical industry. It may be present in some consumer products such as coatings, cleaning agents, agrochemicals and fuel. They are produced by high-severity catalytic reforming of naphtha and also from the pyrolysis gas (pygas) stream in a naphtha steam cracker and by toluene disproportionation (TDP).

Mono- and di-calcium phosphate (MCP or DCP)

Mono- and di-calcium phosphate (MCP/DCP) are the most commonly used forms of inorganic feed phosphates and are used as a food supplement for livestock and poultry. Phosphate chemicals are also used commercially in fertilizers, industrial products, and as additives in food. The main difference between the two feed phosphates is phosphorus content.

Natural detergent alcohol

Natural Detergent Alcohol, or fatty alcohols, are derived commercially from ethylene. Fatty alcohols are mainly used in the production of detergents and surfactants. They are components also of cosmetics, foods, where they are used as emollients and thickeners, and as industrial solvents.

N-butanol

N-butanol is a solvent with a variety of chemical, industrial and retail end-uses. More than half of the production is used as an intermediate chemical in the production of butyl acrylates for paints, coatings and adhesives or to formulate acetates and glycol ethers, as well as being used directly as an industrial solvent. Other uses are in pharmaceuticals, textile manufacture, polymers and food ingredients.

Normal alpha-olefins (NAO)

Normal alpha-olefins (NAO) are bulk organic chemicals manufactured via the oligomerization of ethylene or by using on-purpose technology. There are a wide range of applications for NAOs, however butane-1, hexene-1 and octane-1 are mostly used as comonomers in the production of polyethylene.

Normal paraffin (NP)

Normal paraffin or n-paraffin is obtained by hydrotreating jet kerosene, and benzene. N-paraffin and benzene are the main feedstocks for LAB, an intermediate in the production of surfactant linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and an important feedstock for producing biodegradable detergents and other cleaners. NP is also used as a solvent in degreasing agents and for waxing cars and as charcoal lighter fluid and lamp oil.

NPK

NPK fertilizer is a complex fertilizer comprised of three primary nutrients; nitrogen, phosphorus and potash (potassium). NPK fertilizer is available in liquid, gaseous, and granular form, with granular being the most common.

Paraformaldehyde

Paraformaldehyde is polymerized formaldehyde and forms slowly in aqueous formaldehyde solutions as a white precipitate. The specialty chemical is widely used in resins and agrochemical applications and is also seeing new application as a lubricant additive.

Paraxylene

Paraxylene (PX) is an intermediate and is the largest commercial volume isomer of the mixed xylenes. Most PX demand comes from the polyester chain via one of its intermediates – purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). Conventional technology is based on the isomerization of mixed xylenes from refinery reformate streams or from pyrolysis gasoline (pygas). High-purity PX can be obtained using crystallization or selective adsorptive separation. Toluene disproportionation (TDP) offers an alternative route.

Pentaerythritol

Pentaerythritol is a finely crystalline material, which is produced starting from formaldehyde and ammonia and is predominantly used in the manufacture of alkyd resins as well as polyurethanes. It is a specialty chemical and a building block for the synthesis and production of explosives, plastics, paints, appliances, cosmetics, and many other important chemicals.

Phenol

Phenol’s main downstream use is in bisphenol A (BPA), which goes into polycarbonates and epoxy resins. Other primary uses for phenol include use in phenolic resins and caprolactam, as well as alkylphenols, aniline and adipic acid. Phenol is mostly produced from cumene, from which acetone is also manufactured.

Phosphoric acid

Most phosphoric acid produced is used to make fertilizers.  It is mainly converted into three phosphate salts – triple superphosphate (TSP), diammonium hydrogen phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium dihydrogen phosphate (MAP). It is also a chemical reagent, a rust converter, food additive, dispersing agent and component of home cleaning products.

Polyacetal

Engineering plastic polyacetal, also known as polyoxymethylene (POM), is a versatile thermoplastic that has been particularly successful in replacing metal parts. The automotive industry is the largest end-user. Other major outlets include consumer and office appliances and electronics. POM resins are made by the polymerisation of formaldehyde to produce the homopolymer.

Polybutadiene rubber (PBR)

Polybutadiene rubber (PBR) is polymerised butadiene. It is very similar to natural rubber. The main use for PBR is in tyres, with a high proportion of the polymer produced going into treads and sidewalls. PBR also has a major application as an impact modifier for polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resin. Apart from tyre treads, belts, hoses, gaskets and other automobile parts are made from PBR as it resists cold temperatures better than other elastomers.

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate (PC) resins are tough thermoplastics with uses in optical media, the electrical, electronic and automotive industries and in glazing and sheet products. They are available in different grades and can be extruded, blow- and injection-molded. PC is also used in compounds or blended with other resins such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) or polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). It is derived from the phenol chain.

Polyether polyols

Polyether polyols are used to make polyurethanes (PU). Flexible polyurethane foam is widely used in upholstery, while rigid foams are inside the metal and plastic walls of most refrigerators and freezers. Cast and injection molded components are used for various markets — i.e., agriculture, automotive and industrial. Polyether polyols are produced in a catalysed batch process by reacting various chain starters with propylene oxide (PO) and/or ethylene oxide (EO) in the presence of a catalyst.

Polyethylene (cross-linked XLPE)

XLPE is a solid specialty chemical in the form of polyethylene with chemical cross-links. XLPE has high temperature resistance and is predominantly used for wire and power cable production, as well as pipework systems. Most cross-linkable polyethylene compounds for wire and cable applications are based on LDPE.

Polyethylene (HDPE)

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a commodity plastic produced from ethylene, used extensively in blow-molded products such as milk bottles, packaging containers, drums, car fuel tanks, toys and household goods. Film and sheet are widely used in wrapping, refuse sacks, carrier bags and industrial liners. Injection-molded products include crates, pallets, packaging containers, housewares and toys. Extrusion grades are used in pipes and conduit.

Polyethylene (LDPE)

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a commodity plastic produced from ethylene, used mainly in film and sheet applications, but also in extrusion coating and injection moulding applications. It is used principally as a packaging film either on its own, or blended with linear low density PE (LLDPE) to improve mechanical properties. Blown film has good processability and can be used in food, medical and pharmaceutical packaging in high-purity grades, as well as in agricultural films. LDPE is also used in sheathing for wires and cables, extrusion coating of paper and boards for packaging liquid and in moisture barrier applications.

Polyethylene (LLDPE)

Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is a thermoplastic commodity polymer used mainly in the film sector. LLDPE is used as film for food and non-food packaging, with stretch film applied in industrial packaging. It has a wide range of other applications. LLDPE is manufactured by adding alpha-olefin co-monomers during ethylene polymerisation to produce a number of different products with a range of densities.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) exists both as an amorphous (transparent) and a semi-crystalline (opaque and white) thermoplastic, and can be made into either a resin, fibre or film. The largest outlet is for synthetic fibres, followed by bottle resin. PET film is used in electrical applications and packaging. It can be recycled for other applications or returned to its constituent monomers. It is derived from PTA.

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is an acrylic polymer. About two-thirds of consumption is in sheets produced by extrusion or casting, while the remainder is molded into various shapes. PMMA’s primary use is in car headlamps and tail lights. Other uses include in construction optical media (DVDs, lenses). PMMA is produced by polymerising MMA.

Polyoxymethylene (POM)

Engineering plastic polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as polyacetal, is a versatile thermoplastic that has been particularly successful in replacing metal parts. The automotive industry is the largest end-user. Other major outlets include consumer and office appliances and electronics. POM resins are made by the polymerisation of formaldehyde to produce the homopolymer.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene (PP) is a commodity plastic used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products with applications in packaging, fibres and automotive parts. It is produced from propylene and bulk technologies include the Spheripol process, developed by Himont (now LyondellBasell), and the Borstar bimodal process, developed by Austria-based Borealis.

Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene (PS) is a commodity plastic derived from styrene, with major applications in domestic appliances, construction, electronics, toys and food packaging. Two main types of PS are produced: general purpose polystyrene (GPPS), which is a clear, amorphous resin with good stiffness and electrical properties but it is brittle; and medium and high impact polystyrene (HIPS), which contains varying levels of polybutadiene to improve toughness and impact resistance.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a commodity plastic available in rigid or flexible form. Rigid has the largest demand, particularly in construction where it is used for pipes and fittings and in window profiles. Flexible PVC, which contains a large amount of plasticizer, has outlets in calendared sheet, wire and cable coating, flooring and furniture. It is derived from ethylene and chlorine.

Propylene

The primary outlet for propylene is polypropylene (PP). Other derivatives include propylene oxide (PO), cumene, oxo alcohols, acrylonitrile (ACN), acrylic acid and isopropyl acetate (IPA). Propylene can also be used to make high octane gasoline blendstocks and can also be blended into propane. It is a bulk commodity produced from the steam cracking of liquid feedstocks such as naphtha, and from offgases produced in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) or through on-purpose technologies such as propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and metathesis.

Propylene glycol

Almost half of propylene glycol produced is used as chemical feedstock for the production of unsaturated polyester resins, which are used in reinforced plastic laminates for marine construction, in baths and showers, electrical components and pipes. Propylene glycol is also used in food processing. It is produced from PO.

Propylene oxide (PO)

Almost half of propylene glycol produced is used as chemical feedstock for the production of unsaturated polyester resins, which are used in reinforced plastic laminates for marine construction, in baths and showers, electrical components and pipes. Propylene glycol is also used in food processing. It is produced from PO.

Purified phosphoric acid (PPA)

Purified phosphoric acid (PPA) is a higher-purity form of phosphoric acid. It is used in specialty salts, specialty acids and also in water and metal treatment applications. It is used directly in beverage applications as a flavour enhancer.

Purified terephthalic acid (PTA)

Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) occurs as a white, crystalline powder. Nearly all PTA is consumed in polyester production including polyester fibre, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resin and polyester film. Modern technologies produce PTA by the catalytic liquid phase oxidation of paraxylene (PX) in acetic acid, in the presence of air.

PVC emulsion (E-PVC)

PVC emulsion is a form of PVC, which has finer resin grades with much smaller particles than suspension material. It can be extruded in rigid profiles when high surface gloss and smoothness are required but is often used as paste for coating surfaces.

Pyrolysis gasoline (aromatics concentrate)

Pyrolysis gasoline or pygas is a naphtha-range product with a high aromatics content. It is a by-product of high temperature naphtha cracking. Pygas can be blended with other hydrocarbons as a gasoline additive, or distilled (in the BTX process) to separate it into its aromatics components, including benzene.

Sodium formate

Sodium formate is an intermediate for the production of formic acid and oxalic acid. It is a specialty chemical used in several fabric dyeing and printing processes and also as a buffering agent for strong mineral acids to increase their pH value, as a food additive, and as a de-icing agent. It is produced industrially by the reaction of carbon monoxide with sodium hydroxide.

Sodium hypochlorite

Sodium Hypochlorite is the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid. Water treatment is sodium hypochlorite’s largest end use sector. When it is dissolved in water it is commonly known as bleach. It is used on a large scale for surface purification, bleaching, odor removal and water disinfection

Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR)

The main end-use application of SBR is in the manufacture of tyre products. Other non-automotive uses include footwear, industrial hoses, conveyor belts, gloves, adhesives and chewing gum. The two main types of SBR include emulsion SBR (E-SBR) and solution SBR (S-SBR). It is produced by the copolymerisation of butadiene and styrene.

Styrene monomer

Styrene is an intermediate for which the main outlets are polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS). Other major uses are in styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) resins, with smaller uses in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), styrene butadiene (SB) latex and styrenated polyesters. The dominant route uses ethylbenzene (EB), which is dehydrogenated to styrene in the presence of steam. Styrene is also co-produced with propylene oxide (PO).

Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde liquid

Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde liquid (SNF liquid) is a clear brown liquid, which is added to concrete to ensure the preparation of a free flowing and pumpable mixture. The specialty chemical has strong water-reducing and dispersing qualities, enabling high strength concrete to be produced. It is also used in dyes, leather and the agricultural industry as a dispersing agent.

Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde powder

Sulfonated naphthalene formaldehyde powder (SNF powder) is a sodium salt of polynaphthalene sulphonic acid, which is added to concrete to ensure the preparation of a free flowing and pumpable mixture. The specialty chemical has strong water-reducing and dispersing qualities, enabling high strength concrete to be produced. It is also used in dyes, leather and the agricultural industry as a dispersing agent.

Sulfuric acid

Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid. It has a wide range of applications including in domestic acidic drain cleaners, as an electrolyte in lead-acid batteries and in various cleaning agents. It is also used in mineral processing, fertilizer manufacturing, oil refining, wastewater processing, and chemical synthesis.

Superabsorbent polymers (SAP)

Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) can absorb and retain extremely large amounts of a liquid relative to their own mass and as a result their main end-use is in the manufacture of disposable nappies, surgical pads and other personal care items. SAP is produced from acrylic acid.

Tetrahydrofuran (THF)

Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is derived from butandiol and is widely used as a precursor to polymers. THF is used to make polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG), which goes into spandex fibers, urethane elastomers and copolyester ethers. It is also used as an industrial solvent for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and in varnishes.

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are a class of copolymers which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. They are recyclable as they can be molded, extruded and reused like plastics, but have typical elastic properties of rubbers. They find large applications in the automotive sector and in household appliances sector.

Thermoplastic olefin

Thermoplastic olefins refer to specialty polymer/filler blends usually consisting of some fraction of a thermoplastic, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. It is processed by injection molding, profile extrusion, and thermoforming. Roofing frequently contains thermoplastic olefin because it does not degrade under solar UV radiation. It is also used in the automotive industry.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2)

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a white powder pigment used in paints and coatings, including glazes and enamels, plastics, paper, inks, fibres, foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. TiO2 can be produced from ilmenite ore, rutile or titanium slag. Titanium pigment is extracted by using either sulfuric acid (the sulfate process) or chlorine (the chloride route).

Toluene

Toluene is an aromatic used to produce benzene and xylenes via a number of processes. It is also used in a number of solvent applications and also in the production of toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), an important raw material used in the production of polyurethane foams. It is frequently used as an octane booster in gasoline. There are three grades of toluene – TDI grade, nitration-grade and commercial-grade.

Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)

Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) is used in flexible polyurethane (PU) foam, which has outlets in upholstery, mattresses and automotive seats. Other uses include rigid foams and adhesives, paints, concrete sealers and as a crosslinking agent for nylon 6 and intermediates in PU coatings and elastomers. It is derived from toluene.

Toluene-diamine (TDA)

Toluene-diamine (TDA) is an intermediate used to produce toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which is in turn used in flexible polyurethane (PU) foam, which has outlets in upholstery, mattresses and automotive seats as well as rigid foams and adhesives, paints, concrete sealers and as a crosslinking agent for nylon 6 and intermediates in PU coatings and elastomers. It is derived from toluene.

Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a white, solid inorganic compound, which is highly soluble in water producing an alkaline solution. It is used as a cleaning agent, lubricant, food additive, stain remover and degreaser. It is produced from phosphoric acid.

Urea

Urea’s major use is as a fertilizer. It is used as prills or granules, or in a 70% aqueous solution. It is also used to make urea formaldehyde (UF) and melamine formaldehyde (MF) resins. Another outlet is the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions from the exhaust of diesel vehicles (AdBlue). Small quantities are used to make polyurethanes (PU), pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, cosmetics, flame-proofing agents, sulfamic acid and fabric softeners. Urea is produced from ammonia and carbon dioxide.

Urea formaldehyde

Urea formaldehyde is used in the manufacturing of MDF, particleboard and other cellulosic products. It is a resin produced from urea and formaldehyde, which is mixed with water to create a solution.

Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM)

VAM is a key ingredient in emulsion polymers, resins, and intermediates used in paints, adhesives, coatings, textiles, wire and cable polyethylene (PE) compounds, laminated safety glass (used in automotive windshields), packaging, automotive plastic fuel tanks and acrylic fibres. It is also used in furniture glue and chewing gum. Ethylene is the preferred feedstock, replacing the original acetylene route.

Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM)

Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is a colourless gas used mostly in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which goes into the construction industry. Some goes to produce polyvinylidene and several chlorinated solvents. Ethylene is reacted with chlorine to make ethylene dichloride (EDC) and then thermally cracked to make vinyl chloride monomer.