Styrene monomer forms the basis of polystyrene, a plastic based in petroleum. Sold under the brand name Styrofoam, polystyrene is light in weight and actually consists of about 95 percent air. It insulates extremely well and appears in a wide variety of products, ranging from cups designed to maintain beverage temperatures to protective packing materials that keep everything from vases to laptops safe in the shipping process.Continue Reading
While polystyrene is an extremely versatile product, its makeup causes some significant health problems. Those who work with styrene, the central building block, run the risk of irritation of the upper respiratory tract, eyes and skin, as well as negative effects in the gastrointestinal tract. Renal function and neurological health are also at risk, and styrene is on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of potential human carcinogens.
The risks of using polystyrene do not end when the product is manufactured. Toxic chemicals have been detected leaking out of products into the items they contain, which is one reason why several major fast food chains have stopped serving food in it. The fact that more than 25 percent of all landfill space is occupied by plastics is still another reason to consider alternative materials for containers. While polystyrene is effective and easy to make, its effects are a concern.Learn more about Chemistry
Many everyday items are made from plastic, including hard drinking glasses and dishes, which are typically made from a type of plastic called polystyrene. Garden hoses, water pipes and plastic tubing are typically made from a type of plastic called PVC, and circuit boards are made from laminated epoxy plastics.Full Answer >
Mineral oil is made from any oil-producing mineral source, which is typically (but not always) a petroleum product. Petroleum-based oils are also known as white oil, liquid petroleum and liquid paraffin. Mineral oil is frequently perfumed and sold as baby oil.Full Answer >
Substances that store chemical energy are primarily fuels such as coal, wood, natural gas, petroleum and propane, as well as foods, batteries and matches. Encyclopædia Britannica defines chemical energy as energy stored in the bonds of chemical compounds that can be released during a chemical reaction.Full Answer >
Diesel fuel is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbons made by the fractional distillation of petroleum, which occurs at between 200 to 360 degrees Celsius, which is 392 to 680 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture is mainly comprised of alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons possessing between 12 and 20 carbon atoms.Full Answer >