The processes that produce benzene are all dependent on fossil fuels, primarily natural gas and crude oil. A very small quantity of benzene is obtained from distilling the oil from coke ovens (used to make coke for the iron and steel industry).

Steam cracking uses either the naphtha fraction from the distillation of crude oil, or ethane found dissolved in oil or in natural gas. In general, naphtha is the main feedstock used in the UK and Western Europe. Ethane is used in the US, simply because ethane is in abundance in the natural gas found in that part of the world.

Catalytic reforming also uses the naphtha fraction.

The disproportionation of methylbenzene makes use of one of the products from the catalytic reforming carried out on the naphtha fraction.

Aromatics plants are generally situated within refineries or petrochemical complexes, reflecting the interconnection between the feedstocks for these processes. It also allows for the re-use of hydrocarbon fractions, after aromatics removal, as gasoline or feedstock to steam crackers.










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