Benzene (cyclohexa-1,3) is the basis of a group of hydrocarbons referred to as “aromatics”. It is a clear colorless liquid, with a characteristic aromatic smell. Benzene is produced worldwide in substantial quantities, and because it is very easy to transport by ship, it is traded internationally.
Benzene is a very important basic chemical. It is the starting point for many derivatives required in the production of a wide range of goods used in everyday life. For example, benzene and ethylene are used to produce styrene, from which polystyrene is made. It also used to produce cyclohexane, a precursor to caprolactam, which is used to produce nylon. Well-known commodity chemicals like polystyrene and nylon are subsequently used to manufacture everyday items including clothing, paints, computer casings and packaging.
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