- The Polystyrene Process facility uses the INEOS/Lummus technology for the manufacture of High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS) as well as certain ISBL support facilities.
- The plant has the capacity to produce 200,000 metric tons per year (MTA) of Polystyrene based on 8000 hours per year. The plant will consist of two (2) – 100,000 MTA parallel lines. The Swing line will be capable of producing HIPS or GPPS, while the HIPS line will produce HIPS only.
- The process units of the plant are two (2) parallel lines, the Swing Plant and the HIPS Plant
- Each of The HIPS Plant & The Swing Plant consists of processing sections .
GENERAL CHEMISTRY IN PROCESS DESCRIPTION:
- Polystyrene is produced by polymerization of styrene monomer. When polymerized in the presence of rubber it is called High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS). When no rubber is present, it is called General Purpose or Crystal Polystyrene (GPPS).
- Styrene monomer (vinylbenzene) (C8H8) is a clear liquid with a distinct odor. Styrene monomer is also a flammable liquid whose vapor is heavier than air and therefore must be handled properly.
- Polymerization consists of three steps: (1) initiation, (2) propagation and (3) termination. The olymerization reactions are as follows:
(1) M– >M
(2) M + M– > MM· + M — > MMM· + M — > [MMMM·
(3) — [MMMM] + [·MMM] — — > [MMMMMMM] —
- Step (1) – Initiation
In step (1) the double bond on the carbon atom is broken to form a free radical. This is accomplished by the application of heat or by a catalyst.
- Step ((2) – Propagation
The free radical, which is highly unstable, combines with another styrene molecule thus forming a new free radical. This process continues and the polymer chain continues to grow.
- Step (3) – Termination
In the termination reaction, two free radicals can combine to terminate a chain or other chemicals can be used to terminate a chain.
The INEOS continuous polymerization process is a proven and efficient technology that controls these steps for the production of a wide range of crystal and impact polystyrenes.