Polystyrenes and Other Aromatic Poly(vinyl compound)s
Discovery of the styrene monomer is credited to Newman  who isolated it by steam distillation from liquid amber, which contains cinnamic acid, yielding styrene via decarboxylation. The ﬁrst polymerization was described by Simon . Commercial styrene polymerization was begun about 1925 . Cracking of ethylbenzene became the major manufacturing route for the monomer. The ﬁrst commercialization was based on bulk polymerization using the can process [4,5]. Polystyrene production has grown by an average of 2.8% per year over the last 10 years, reaching 8 500 000 metric tons worldwide in 1995 . The most general-purpose polystyrene is produced by solution polymerization in a continuous process with the aid of peroxide initiation. Suspension polymerization is used for products for which a small spherical form is desirable. Emulsion polymerization is the method of choice for ABS resins.