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.
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.