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Information @ a Glance


  • p-Xylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon, based on benzene with two methyl substituents. The p stands for para, identifying the  location of the methyl groups as across from one another.
  • p-Xylene is an isomer of xylene. Other isomers include o-xylene and m-xylene. p-Xylene is used on a large scale for the
    manufacture of terephthalic acid for polyester. Its polymer is known as Parylene.
  • p-Xylene is produced by catalytic reforming of naphtha (a petroleum derivative) and separated in a series of distillation,
    adsorption or crystallization and reaction processes from m-xylene, o-xylene and ethylbenzene. Its melting point is the highest among this series of isomers, but simple crystallization does not allow easy purification due to the formation of
    eutectic mixtures.
  • Paraxylene is a colorless, sweet-smelling liquid at room temperature. Paraxylene is a flammable chemical. Paraxylene is not considered a highly reactive chemical. It occurs naturally in petroleum and coal tar.
  • Conventional paraxylene technology is based on the isomerisation of mixed xylenes. High purity product can be obtained using crystallisation or selective adsorptive separation.
  • Paraxylene is primarily used as a basic raw material in the manufacture of terephthalic acid (TPA), purified terephthalic
    acid (PTA) and dimethyl-terephthalate (DMT). TPA, PTA and DMT are used to manufacture polyethylene terephthalate (PET) saturated polyester polymers. Polyesters are used to produce fibers ,films and plastic bottles. A small amount of PX is used as a solvent and to produce di-paraxylene and herbicides.
  • The PX market has seen strong growth driven by increasing PTA consumption in polyester manufacture.
  • Global demand for PX has been growing strongly and this is expected to continue. Tecnon OrbiChem expects world consumption to grow at an average of 7%/year in the 2008-2013 period.
  • In the most recent incident, the municipal government of Dalian halted operation of a paraxylene (PX) plant - Fujia-Dahua PX Plant - and ordered its removal. The decision came after large tides destroyed the plant's flood bank and swept away tanks of dangerous chemicals.
  • The para-xylene industry however showed unprecedented volume growth in 2010, growing by 2.8 million tons, a full ten percent growth from 2009.

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