Butadiene is a colorless gas with a mild aromatic smell. This non-corrosive gas easily condenses to a liquid at negative 4.5 degrees centigrade. While butadiene has no consumer purpose, it does hold commercial appeal in much of the rubber manufacturing process and some plastics as well.
Its chief source of production within the commercial market is through the distillation of crude butylene concentration stream (a by-product of ethylene and propylene production). In areas such as China, India, and South America, butadiene is produced using ethanol in either one or two-step processes with lower production outputs and lower capital costs. Locally, the first post-war plant to produce butadiene using dehydrogenation methods opened in Houston in 1957 and produced 65,000 tons of butadiene.
Primarily, butadiene is used commercially as a chemical intermediate and monomer in the manufacturing of polymers like synthetic rubbers or elastomers, including strene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene rubber, polychloroprene, and nitrile rubber. The vast majority of butadiene is used in the production of automobile tires, while also used commonly in the production of polymers, latexes, and plastics.
- Styrene-butadiene rubber and polybutadiene rubber are used in production of tires and plastic materials
- Styrene-butadiene latex is used in the production of carpets and paper coatings
- Neoprene and nitrile are used in production of gloves, wetsuits and waders
- Nitrile rubber is used in hoses, gaskets and seals
- Neoprene is used in production of foams
Galveston County is home to a vast network of above-ground and underground pipelines providing chemical and gaseous product transportation and delivery service throughout the county. These pipelines reach to our industrial areas, both of our local ports, offshore, and outside the county, and provide our industry with a wide range of useful chemical products