Styrene: The Building Block of Possibility

Monday, June 13, 2022

We usually do not think about, or simply are unaware of, the many things made possible by a single monomer. Styrene monomer, a clear, colorless liquid that is synthesized for commercial use from petroleum and natural gas by-products, helps make the world run more efficiently with uses in the energy, consumer, automotive and medical industries. LyondellBasell produces styrene at several of its manufacturing sites globally, including in Texas, USA, the Netherlands and China.

“Styrene is one of the most essential materials for making the products we use every day,” said Gianluca Brescia, LyondellBasell vice president, Global Chemical Sales. “Styrene has a variety of uses and can be relied upon to make meaningful end-products like food packaging, toys and electronics.”

Styrene monomer is one of the world’s most used and produced commodity., with 30 million metric tons converted into products each year. About 20% of styrene is used for food and plastics packaging. Many consumers may not even realize the utility of styrene in their car parts, paints, household appliances or in wind-energy.

“Our engineers and scientists have a deep knowledge and understanding of styrene and work constantly to improve the manufacturing technology, handling, and application of this material,” said Hans van der Kaaij, LyondellBasell director, Intermediates and Derivatives Sustainability and Ventures.

In finding innovative ways of manufacturing and producing styrene, LyondellBasell is ensuring a cost-effective and high-performing product for its customers. Additionally, constantly improving styrene’s application benefits consumers’ daily lives, which contributes to a thriving society.