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Petrochemical

Petrochemicals are derived from oil, gas or coal, and from renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane. Petrochemicals used as raw materials — or feedstocks — include ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, xylene and naphthalene. Two petrochemical classes are olefins, including ethylene and propylene, and aromatics including benzene, toluene, and zylene isomers. Oil refineries produce olefins and aromatics by fluid catalytic cracking of petroleum fractions. Chemical plants produce olefins by steam cracking of natural gas liquids like ethane and propane. Aromatics are produced by catalytic reforming of naphtha. Olefins and aromatics are the building-blocks for a wide range of materials such as solvents, detergents and adhesives. Olefins are the basis for polymers and oligomers used in plastics, resins, fibers, elastomers lubricants and gels.

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