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Styrene monomer is a raw material to produce polystyrene; widely used in making

electrical, electronics and engineering plastic parts and packaging containers. Styrene can
be produced by using several methods; alkylation of benzene with ethylene, alkylation of
toluene with methanol, dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene and also a less common practice
using pyrolysis gasoline. Styrene has great performance characteristics, high in quality
and very cost-effective. The one and only company manufacturing styrene monomer in
Malaysia is the Idemitsu SM (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.; with partners Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd,
Japan (70%) and Petronas (30%). Besides that, Idemitsu is also a manufacturer, importer
and exporter of ethybenzene (EB), styrene monomer (SM) and benzene toluene (BT)
mixture. Currently, Asia is the largest manufacturer, has the highest demand and the most
consumption of styrene monomer mostly based in Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan. The
capacity development continues to be concentrated in Asia Pacific and the Middle East;
whereby Asia Pacific has been the largest production base since 1997 and Saudi Arabia
has been the focus of capacity of development in the Middle East. Globally, the demand
of styrene monomer in the West region once decreases from the year 2006-2007. In
between year 2004-2010, Japan, U.S and the Western Europe have slow down the styrene
production due to the increase of raw material prices. The financial aspects are stated in
the cost estimation part whereby estimated profit, cost correlations, equipment costs and
economic potential is identified. Estimated profit per year for this plant producing
50,000MTA is found to be RM 7.602x107/ year.

Table 2.1: General information of styrene monomer (Petronas Chemicals: Strength in

Diversity, 2012)

Styrene Monomer
Styrene Monomer is one of the important plastic raw materials in
liquid form derived from complex petrochemical processes. It is a


clear, colorless, flammable liquid, distinctive aromatic odor

(harmful by inhalation) and has an irritant effect to respiratory


system, eyes and skin.

Raw material for the production of polystyrene which is used to

Primary and

make electrical, electronics and engineering plastic parts and

End Uses

packaging containers. Used in high-impact plastic such as ABS,

latex paints and most of the synthetic rubber.

Through years, the specification and analytical methods for styrene have changed.
Sales specifications have been defined by the majority of the manufacturers according to
the standard D2827 Standard Specification for Styrene Monomer of the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). For a typical sales specification, there are a
few key parameters which are: a minimum purity of 99.7 wt. % and a maximum color of
10 on the Platinum-Cobalt (Pt-Co) scale. Meanwhile the specified impurities and their
concentrations depend upon the manufacturing method employed, along with plant
performance characteristics. The typical inhibitor content of the standard grade is 10-15
ppm TBC (4-tert-butylcatechol), while a higher dose may be defined in the customer
specification depending on the expected storage period and use conditions at the customer
site (Styrene Monomer: Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines, 2012).
Styrene is widely used in the manufacture of resins, plastics, and latices/emulsion
polymers by both batch and continuous mass polymerisation; by solution, suspension, and
emulsion processes; and by various modifications and combinations of these techniques.
In 2004, the global styrene demand was reported to be over 24,000 Kt. Figure 2.1 below
presents the global styrene polymer derivatives demand based in year 2004.

SBR Styrene
Butadiene Rubber, 4%
SBL Styrene
Butadiene Latex,

UPR Unsaturated
Polyester Resins, 5%
Elastomers, 2%

Others, 5%

SAN ResinsStyrene

ABS ResinsAcrytonitrile Butadiene

Styrene, 14%

MBS Methyl
Copolymers, <1%

PS Polystyrene, 46%

Expandable PS, 16%

Figure 2.1: Global styrene monomer demands in 2004 (Styrene Monomer:

Environmental, Health and Distribution Guidelines, 2007)
The diversity of styrene industry in the United States as a whole is an
approximately $28 billion industry with annual industry payroll exceeding $4 billion. The
styrene industry contributes nearly $540 million yearly to the United States trade balance
and of $7 billion tax revenues annually (, 2011).
At this time, there is no other material available that can provide the same
performance characteristics, quality and cost-effectiveness as styrene. For example, boats
are more structurally sound by incorporating styrene in the manufacturing process.
Besides that, packaging is cheaper and more sanitary compared to reusable products;
automobiles have lighter components which makes them more fuel-efficient; and
improved building insulation helps to conserve energy (this reduces global warming gas
emissions) and reduce heating and cooling costs. Moreover, donated organs and many
vaccines that must be kept at low temperatures often are shipped in containers insulated
with polystyrene foam to ensure that they reach their destinations in the required
condition for transplant or use (, 2011).


Idemitsu Company is the only company in Malaysia well known for

manufacturing styrene monomer (SM). It has a 12.5% equity holding in Ethylene

Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (with Petronas and BP) which supplies Ethylene to Idemitsu's main
petrochemical industry based in Pasir Gudang, Johor for SM production. With this
styrene supply chain built in Malaysia, Idemitsu is now exporting more than 70% of its
Polystyrene directly or indirectly to the international market and the Group's Styrene
business in Malaysia exceeded RM1.7 billion in 2007 (Petronas, 2012). The Table 2.2
below explains briefly about Idemitsus SM plant:
Table 2.2: Idemitsus Styrene Monomer Plant (Petronas, 2012)


Pasir Gudang Ethylbenzene/Styrene Monomer Plant

220,000 tpa Ethylbenzene, 200,000 tpa Styrene Monomer
Idemitsu SM Malaysia Sdn Bhd
PETRONAS, Idemitsu Petrochemical Co. Ltd
February 1997
Styrene Monomer is used as raw materials for the production
of polystyrene which is used to make electrical, electronics
and engineering plastics parts and packaging containers. It is
also used in high-impact plastic.


Competitors Company Profile:

Table 2.3: Idemitsu SM (Malaysia) Sdn.Bhd. Company Profile (Worlds Vest Base:
Global Finance Intelligence, 2012)
WVB number



Phone number
Fax number
Industry (SIC)


07-252 5350
07-252 8281
Chemicals & Chem Preps, Nec
The Company are manufacturing, importer, exporter

Profile brief

of ethybenzene, styrene monomer & benzene toluene

(BT) mixture.

Directors/ Managers



Main Shareholders/ Parent



Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd (70%)
Petronas (30%)


Process Technology


Production Methods
Styrene is produced in industrial quantities from ethyl benzene, which is in turn

prepared on a large scale by alkylation of benzene with ethylene (Denis H. James William
M. Castor, 2005). Styrene was first prepared (Rudolph Fittig et al., 1879) in the laboratory
by synthesis of styrene entails the decarboxylation of cinnamic acid (Abbott and T. W,
1941). The conventional way to produce styrene is via dehydrogenation of ethyl benzene
as shown in Figure 2.2. Ethyl benzene is dehydrogenated by mixing it in the gas phase
with 10-15 times its volume in high temperature steam and passed over a catalyst to yield
styrene and hydrogen. The catalysts used in most of the dehydrogenation process are
based on iron (III) oxide, promoted by several percentage of potassium oxide or
potassium carbonate.

Figure 2.2:


of ethyl benzene

to styrene and

A typical styrene plant consists of two or three reactors in series, which operate
under vacuum to enhance the conversion and selectivity. Typical per-pass conversions are
ca. 65% for two reactors and 70-75% for three reactors. Selectivity to styrene is 93-97%.
The overall reaction is endothermic, and heat is supplied by steam in adiabatic reactors or
by external firing in tubular isothermal reactors. The steam is the source of heat and
serves to removes coke that tends to form on the catalyst through the water gas shift
reaction. Apart from that the steam also dilutes the reactant and products, shifting the
position of chemical equilibrium towards product. Toluene and benzene are formed as by

Commercially styrene is also co-produced with propylene oxide in a process

known as POSM (Lyondell Chemical Company, 2012) or SM/PO (Shell) for styrene
monomer / propylene oxide. The hydro peroxidation technology for the production of
styrene features co-production of propylene oxide and styrene via an ethyl benzene hydro
peroxide intermediate. In this process, the ethyl benzene hydro peroxide, made by direct
air oxidation of ethyl benzene, is then subsequently used to oxidize propylene to
propylene oxide. The resulting 2-phenylethanol is dehydrated to give styrene:


POSM technology is used for about a third of the world's production of propylene
oxide and involves the reaction of propylene and ethyl benzene to produce propylene
oxide and styrene. The majority (60 and 70%) of propylene oxide is used in the
manufacture of polyether polyols for use in making polyurethane plastics. Propylene
oxide is also used in the production of propylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, propylene
glycols ethers and propylene carbonate.

Technology Development
In recent years, technological developments in the ethyl benzene and styrene area

have focused on process optimization, catalyst upgrades, and equipment improvements.

Since styrene and ethyl benzene have close boiling points which is 145C and 136C
respectively their separation requires tall distillation towers and high reflux ratios. The
problem occur when at its distillation temperatures styrene tends to polymerize thus
elemental sulphur is added to inhibit polymerization. Another solution is to use nitrated
phenol-based retarders. These reagents are added prior to the distillation.

Improving conversion and so reducing the amount of ethyl benzene that must be
separated is the main objective for researching alternative routes to styrene. Other than
the POSM process, none of these routes like obtaining styrene from butadiene have been
commercially demonstrated.

Styrene via Benzene and Ethane

A new jointly technological development between The Dow Chemical Company

and Snamprogetti S.p.A. (the engineering and main contracting company of Italys Eni)
have synergistically developed a new route to produce styrene monomer from ethane and
benzene (SNOW Ethane Option") or ethylene and benzene (SNOW Ethylene Option").
The SNOW (SNOW = SNamprogetti + DOW) represents a technological and economical
breakthrough in the Styrene Industry. The SNOW technology is innovative as concerns
many factors: raw materials, reactor design, heat supply system, catalyst, feed
composition (Elsevier, 2007).
Ethane, along with ethyl benzene from the alkylation unit, is fed to a
dehydrogenation reactor with a catalyst capable of simultaneously producing styrene and
ethylene. The dehydrogenation effluent is cooled and separated and the ethylene stream is
recycled to the alkylation unit. The catalyst suitable for this type of reaction is composed
of gallium, platinum and potassium on alumina modified with silica. The process attempts
to overcome previous shortcomings in the development of processes employing ethane to
produce styrene. These include inefficient recovery of aromatics, production of high
levels of heavies and tars, and inefficient separation of hydrogen and ethane. A basic
block flow diagram of the process is shown in Figure 2.3 below.




EB Recycle

and Styrene


C2 Recycle

Figure 2.3: Block flow diagram of ethane and benzene to styrene

The two SNOW Options (ethane or ethylene feed), allow the maximization of
profit according to the location, price and availability of the raw materials. The Ethane
Option can add value to stranded or limited use gas streams. Ethane is a significant
component of Natural Gas, and is also contained in some refinery and petrochemical
streams (FCC and crackers off gas, by-product of liquid feed crackers). SNOW provides
an opportunity to monetize Natural Gas without the need of an associated Ethylene
Project, which may be attractive in some locations. Additionally, since this Option
decouples SM production from Steam Cracker it becomes possible to build a new SM
unit (or retrofit an existing conventional one) in refinery/petrochemical complexes
without the need of debottlenecking the Steam Cracking plant.

Styrene via Methanol and Toluene

Styrene can be produced from toluene and methanol, which are cheaper raw

materials than those in the conventional process. A small company called Exelus Inc. is
developing a process based on this chemical route to making styrene, i.e., using the sidechain alkylation of toluene with methanol. This is made possible by a particular catalyst
which allows for the side-chain alkylation of toluene to take place when reacted with

The ExSyM (Exelus Styrene Monomer Technology) process is based on a

different chemical route to styrene that avoids the need for difficult and expensive
dehydrogenation (Exelus, 2009). This alternate route uses the side-chain alkylation of
toluene with methanol. This route yields styrene, hydrogen and water, as shown in Figure


Alkylation of toluene with methanol to styrene, hydrogen and water
ExSyM achieves up to 80% reduction in energy usage by changing the process

chemistry, using instead the alkylation of toluene with methanol to form styrene directly
and reduces the endothermic heat of reaction by 50% which removes the thermodynamic
limitation. The reaction also occurs at lower temperatures, near 400C compares to
conventional process which required high temperature excess of 600C. Furthermore, the
change in feed stocks reduces the production cost by about 35%. Exelus claims to have
invented a new catalytic technology that allows for a breakthrough selectivity of 80% at
full methanol conversion.
The ability to successfully synthesize styrene on a commercial scale from toluene
and methanol would very likely have a significant impact on the styrene market. This has
long been realized and for that reason there has been a long history of attempts to develop
such a process. Historically, however, this process has suffered from low selectivity due
to competing decomposition of methanol (Tatsuaki Yashima et al. 1972). It is reported
(Peter Taffe, 2007) that an approximately 9:1 mixture of styrene and ethyl benzene is
obtained, with a total styrene yield of over 60% (Stephen K. Ritter, 2007).


Market Data


Asian Styrene Monomer Market Data

In Asia specifically in Korea, the market price has increased for the styrene in

June 2010 itself. In the early of June, the market price of styrene is rated to be
$1055/1000kg. Fortunately, the price increases slightly in about the middle of the same
month which is $1060/1000kg. However there is slight different in the other Asian
regional. In China for example, the highest rated for styrene in the early June 2010 is
$1130/1000kg and it was surprisingly decreased to $1084/1000kg (Dewittworld, 2010).
As in Taiwan, $1151/1000kg is the price that remained the same through the
month of May 2010. Prices have varied quite widely in the recent years, for example in
the fall semester of 1999; normal prices were $0.682/kg. However, the prices are found to
be increasing from year to year averagely, even if it is only slight increase (Dewittworld,
These prices are not simply being made up. A detailed research and a surveyed
statistics are done to detect the approximate value of the particular chemical. For the
record, the styrene production is depend on the general economic circumstances and of
course the customer demand and the process itself depend on the operating costs that are
mainly due to the changes in raw material prices and improved energy usages. However,
with the current prices and demand, the development of styrene is believed to have
positive increment in at least a few months period (Venezia, 2010).
While experts differ in growth projections, there is a general research that styrene
will see growth in the next few years (Guzman, 2010). Some experts believe that from
2009 to 2013 styrene will achieve an average growth of about 3-4%. Another market
research optimistically forecasts 4% growth from 2008 until 2013, while less than 3%
growths is forecast by another for the same period (Venezia, 2010).

The price in Korea offers the lowest while the price rate in China is the highest
even though the currency is not much different. These will contribute to the positive
chances in terms of business opportunity for the other country in the Asia region to
produce and sell the styrene production economically in domestic sector. Compared to the
Middle East, central and eastern Europe, the development of styrene in terms of
production and demand might be slow in rate but, the growth of the particular chemical is
increasing and the spot for the possible clients and customers are showing positive
increment as shown in Figure 2.5 (Nicholson,2010).

Figure 2.5: Price pattern of Styrene in Asia (Johnson, 2012)

South Korea appeared to be most consistent country to import styrene from
America and China is the highest country followed by India and Taiwan. However, the
exports from America started to fall starting from the early of the year 2008. None of the
countries appear to import the styrene from America due to economical and other factors
(Venezia, 2010). Thus, by being the country to produce styrene in the Asia itself,
company from Malaysia can take place in the market spot and try to be the successful
imports exports styrene company in the world (Dewittworld, 2010).

Figure 2.6 shows the monthly styrene imports by the country of China. As shown
below, the development of the trends is quite obvious. From the year of 2008 to the year
of 2010, the imports of styrene to this country are reportedly increasing from year to year.
However, starting from the month of July of 2010 which is this year, China reportedly has
stopped the imports of the styrene and move on to the other sources of chemicals
(Dewittworld, 2010). Thus, since China is one of the biggest imports and exports
chemicals country in Asia, this will be such an opportunities for the country or even the
companies from Malaysia to take place in the spot market.

Figure 2.6: Monthly China styrene imports in 2008 to 2010 (Dewittworld, 2010)
Figure 2.7 below shows the Asian pacific ethylene prices. Since ethylbenzene is
our main raw material to produce styrene, its essential to study the trends of the prices to
determine the suitable country that has the possibilities to imports the styrene. As we can
see from the graph, the prices ethylene started of around US$1400/MT, as time goes by
the prices of ethylene starting to show an increment and reach its highest value at around
US$2000/MT (Dewittworld, 2010). At around the month of September of 2008, there
been a drop of prices in the Asia pacific which is the lowest isUS$400/MT. This may due
to the economic factors or demand. However, the graph is slowly increasing and showing
development until the month of July 2009.

Figure 2.7: Asian pacific ethylene prices for 2008 to 2009 with unit price of US$/MT
(Dewittworld, 2010)

Global Styrene Monomer Market Data

After a steep decline to 24 million tons during the global economic crisis,

consumption recovered strongly in 2010, reaching 26.4 million tons.

Growth has

continued at a slower pace over 2011, ensuring total demand remains above the pre-crisis
peak seen in 2007. The growth outlook for styrene is relatively positive, partly due to the
revival of polystyrene consumption growth in China. Styrene monomer is used in a broad
range of polymer derivatives, ranging from commodity polymers to engineering plastics
and synthetic rubber, namely polystyrene, expandable polystyrene (EPS), acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR),
styrene butadiene latex (SBL), and other copolymer resins as shown in Figure 2.8
(Nexant, 2012).

Styrenic Copolymers
SBR & Latex


SB Copolymer
Polester Resin

ABS/SAN resin

Figure 2.8: World Consumption of Styrene Usage 2010 (Nexant, 2012)

The operators in the styrenics business continue to evolve through joint ventures
and rationalisations. INEOS bought out NOVA from INEOS NOVA in February 2011 to
form INEOS Styrenics, and subsequently merged with BASFs styrenics business to form
Styrolution in October 2011. Styrolution includes all styrenics assets except EPS and
some ABS plants. In Japan, earlier consolidations that formed two joint ventures, PS
Japan and Japan Polystyrene, proved insufficient, and all units are now likely to be closed
(Nexant, 2012).
Although polystyrene usage has declined globally since 2005, it remains the
largest styrene consumer, and showed modest growth of 3.7 percent in 2010. Among the
other derivatives, demand into EPS has grown at the highest rates, driven by protective
packaging and construction sectors, and an increasing focus on energy conservation in
buildings. EPS accounted for 13 percent of global styrene demand in 2000, rising to 20
percent in 2010, and will be a key future driver of styrene growth (Nexant, 2012).
Styrene demand into ABS and SBR performed strongly over 2006-2007, but
suffered badly during the downturn over 2008-9 in Western regions.

Asia led the

recovery in these products over 2009. ABS and SBR grew strongly in 2010, with demand

growth at over 10 percent for both polymers. Demand for both ABS and SBR in Asia is
increasingly driven by local demand for finished products such as tyres, vehicles and
electrical appliances (Nexant, 2012).
Capacity development continues to be concentrated in Asia Pacific and the Middle
East. Asia Pacific has been the largest production base since 1997 following huge
capacity development in China, South Korea and Taiwan. Saudi Arabia has been the focus
of capacity development in the Middle East, although Iran and Kuwait have also recently
been active. Capacity in North America has been declining since the 2007 peak, due to
rationalisation in the United States. However, no further shutdowns are expected in the
short-term. Styrene capacity in Western Europe also reached its peak in 2007, and further
styrene capacity development in the region is unlikely (Nexant, 2012).
New capacity developments will be based around advantaged feedstock in the
Middle East and in China, where producers can benefit from both ethylene and benzene
availability, and proximity to market. North America, Western Europe, Japan and South
Korea are not expected to add capacity, while India is likely to start up its first styrene
plant in a few years (Nexant, 2012).
While global operating rates have increased steadily since 2009, rates are
expected to climb significantly further by 2014, due to the limited quantity of new
capacity under development. Operating rates will be high in the Middle East, due to the
production cost advantage, while those in Western Europe are also high following largescale consolidation. Asia Pacific, which will maintain a large structural styrene import
requirement, will operate around global average rates due to large capacity additions, and
the presence of several older and less advantaged units (Nexant, 2012).
Trade flows of styrene are expected to increase as a result of export-oriented
capacity development in the Middle East. North Americas net exports will gradually
decrease, while Western Europes imports will remain stable. North American producers
have substantially lost their market position in Asia Pacific as Middle Eastern exports

increased. Demand for imports into Central Europe will increase, and exports from
Eastern Europe will drop, as derivative expansions run ahead of styrene capacity
development in both regions (Nexant, 2012).
World styrene demand grew at an average annual rate of only 0.4% during 2003
2010. Rising raw material prices and weakened demand for polystyrene in the United
States, Western Europe and Japan slowed overall styrene demand growth. Growth in
these three regions will be flat to declining over the forecast period. The fastest styrene
demand growth will be in China, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and
Central and South America. Based on current capacity expansion announcements, the
United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and the Middle East will
remain net exporters while Mexico, India, Thailand and other Asian countries will
continue to be net importers to 2013. Capacity closures in the United States and Western
Europe in 2009, and potentially into 2010, and continued capacity growth in China will
gradually shift global supply closer to demand in Asia. Figure 2.9 shows the world
consumption of styrene in year 2010.

Central South America Middle East Oceania

Central Europe



Rep. of Korea
United States


Figure 2.9: World Consumption of Styrene 2010 (Nexant, 2012)


Malaysia Styrene Monomer Market Data

With a history of nearly 100 years, Idemitsu has not only become a leader in the
oil and petrochemical industries and a household name in Japan, but has also
continuously expanded its business globally. Idemitsu Group's initial investment in
Malaysia goes way back to 1972 when its first joint-venture project for Polystyrene Resin
production started in Johor Bahru. Since the 1970s, Idemitsu has also established a close
relationship with the Malaysian oil industry through technology transfer and with the
purchase of Malaysian crude oil and LPG (Malaysian Investment Development Authority,
Over a period of more than 3 decades, the originally stand-alone Polystyrene
business (Petrochemicals (M) Sdn. Bhd. with a current capacity of 140,000 mt/year) has
finally gained more upstream integration with Idemitsu's styrene monomer production
operations (Idemitsu Styrene Monomer (M) Sdn. Bhd. with a capacity of 240,000
mt/year). Idemitsu also has a 12.5% equity holding in Ethylene Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (with
Petronas and BP) which supplies Ethylene to Idemitsu's main petrochemical industry
based in Pasir Gudang, Johor for SM production. With this Styrene supply chain built in
Malaysia, Idemitsu is now exporting more than 70% of its Polystyrene directly or
indirectly to the international market and the Group's Styrene business in Malaysia
exceeded RM1.7 billion in 2007 (Malaysian Investment Development Authority, 2012).
Besides petrochemical products for the industrial market, Idemitsu has also
established a Lubricant Oil marketing subsidiary (Idemitsu Lube (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd) in
Malaysia to supply Idemitsu's world-renowned lubricants to both industry and consumer
markets. The Group's 274-acre land in Pasir Gudang with its own exclusive chemical
jetty will be the developed further. Indeed, Malaysia is Idemitsu's home-away-fromhome, both for the company as well as our Japanese personnel (Malaysian Investment
Development Authority, 2012).


Plant Capacity and Cost Estimation

This project is designed for a plant capacity of 139.28 MT/day and having an

overall annual production of 50,000 MTA. Plant is expected to operate 359 days per
annum, whereby 6 days are allocated for plant shutdown and maintenance (twice a year).
Currently the production for styrene in Malaysia is much lower compared to its demand.
Thus, there is high potential for profit by manufacturing and distributing styrene in
Malaysia. The table below shows the chemical, utilities and equipment prices; and freight
cost estimation for styrene production. Refer appendix for further detail calculations.

Table 2.4: Estimation price of recent chemicals, utilities and equipment

USD ($)
Plant Size

139.28 MT/day
50,000 MTA
Styrene Monomer
(Dewittworld, 2010)
(Dewittworld, 2010)


(Dewittworld, 2010)
(Platts, 2012)
(IChemeE, 2012)
(Dewittworld, 2010)



Economics, 2012)


























etc) (5% PCE)





(x2 units)

(x2 units)

(x6 units)

(x6 units)

(x2 units)

(x2 units)


Heat Exchanger
Distillation Column

(40% PCE)

Plastic Drum

(one time cost)

680 000/month






Economic Potential
To determine the economic potential of the production of styrene, the route to

produce styrene must be decided first. Our production chooses the dehydrogenation of
ethylbenzene to form styrene, so that the only raw material used is ethylbenzene. The
equation of the dehydrogenation process is,


From the equation above, it showed that 1 mole of ethylbenzene will dehydrogenated to
form 1 mole of styrene and 1 mole of hydrogen (refer Appendix I). Table 2.5 shows the
summary of calculation for raw material and product.
Table 2.5: Calculated values for raw material and product
Molecular weight
Quantity mole/ year
Quantity kg/ year

Ethylbenzene (EB)
480769.23 kmole/year
5.096x107 kg/year

Styrene Monomer (SM)

480769.23 kmole/year
5.0x107 kg/year



Table 2.4
Sell price/ year


RM 1,687.23/ton


RM 8.598x107

RM 1.625x108

Estimated profit/year = product cost raw material cost

= RM 1.625x108- RM 8.598x107
= RM 7.602x107/ year
The styrene monomer production of 5.0x10 7 kg/year is multiplied by styrene
molecular weight, 104kg/kmole. Since I mole of EB reacts to produce 1 mole of SM,
therefore 480769.23 kmole/year of EB produce 480769.23 kmole/year of SM. The mass
quantity of ethylbenzene is calculated by multiplying the mole quantity with its molecular
weight. Both mass quantity per year of EB and SM are then multiplied by their respective
current price per mass to obtain the selling price per year.


To calculate plant capacity based on annual production of 50,000 MTA and 359
operating days per annum:
50,000 mtric ton/year x 1 year/359 days = 139.28 metric ton/day

Currency conversion from US Dollar (USD) to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR):

Dollar to

Ringgit Conversion Table

$ 10
$ 50
$ 100 $ 200
$ 500
Ringgit RM 3.12 RM 15.62 RM 31.25 RM 156 RM 312 RM 625 RM 1562
RM3.1245 per Dollar rate on Fri, 31 August, 2012 []

Mass unit conversion: 1 ton = 1000 kg

Major units cost = (RM 6,249.00 x 2) + (RM 36,869.10 x 6) + (RM 93,735.00 x

2) = RM 421,182.60

Other equipment estimated cost = 50% of major unit costs

= 50% x RM 421,182.60 = RM 210,591.30

Total Purchased Cost Equipment (PCE) = RM 421,182.60 + RM 210,591.30 =

RM 631,773.90

Labor cost:
Total estimation for 500 workers = 400 labors + 100 higher management team
Cost Estimation for 400 labors =
3 shifts/day x RM5/hour x 400 workers/3 workers x 30 days/1 month = RM
480,000/ month
Cost Estimation for 100 higher management team
= RM 2000/month 100 workers = RM 200 000/month
Total Labor Cost = Cost Estimation for 400 labors + Cost Estimation for 100
higher management team
= (RM 480 000 + RM 200 000)/month
= RM 680 000/month

To calculate mole and mass quantity of SM produces and EB required:

50,000 MT/year SM x 1kg/0.001MT = 5.0x107 kg/year SM
5.0x107 kg/year SM x 1kmole/104kg = 480769.23 kmole/year of SM produced =
480769.23 kmole/year of EB required
Therefore; 480769.23 kmole/year EB x 106kg/kmole = 5.096x10 7 kg/year EB

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http://www.chemicals- [Accessed 23 August 2012]

3) Chemsystems (2012). Global Styrene Demand [online]. Available from
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4) Dewitt and Company Inc (2010). Weekly World Spot Styrene [Online]. Available
from: [Accessed 31August 2012]
5) Elsevier B.V. (2007). SNOW: Styrene from Ethane and Benzene.
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