Uses and Properties

Aromatics get their name from their distinctive aromatic or perfumed smell.

Almost all aromatics come from crude oil, although small quantities are made from coals. The main substances in this group are benzene, toluene and xylenes. They are used as starting materials for a wide range of consumer products: clothing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, computers, paints, vehicle components, cooking utensils, household fabrics, sports equipment, etc. Products made using aromatics can reduce energy consumption and so have a positive impact on the environment.

The Aromatics Producers Association (APA) is a trade association bringing together the European manufacturers of aromatics.

Issues and Regulations

REACH Implementation

The LOA (Lower Olefins Aromatics) Consortium was formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering 130 to 140 substances within 20 categories.


  • Follow-up of the Convention on the Collection, Deposit and Reception of Waste produced during Navigation on the Rhine and Inland Waterways (CDNI) legislation on degassing of barges
  • Assess the impact of the fuel legislation on aromatics producers
  • Follow-up of the Common Waste Gas Treatment in the Chemical Sector (WGC) Best Available Techniques (BAT) reference documents (BREF): no quantitative BAT-associated emission levels (AEL) were determined for aromatics plants, but it could be included later in the WGC BREF

Specific Issues

  • Manage research projects within the science programme. This includes the follow-up of proposed new substances into environmental regulations like Water Framework Directive (toluene)
  • Co-ordinate with Concawe the analysis and evaluation of epidemiological studies concerning benzene and its carcinogenic effects


Chairman: Bertrand Gyselynck, Total
Vice-Chair: Thomas Gallagher, Dow


de Smedt Philip
Sector Group Manager
32 (02) 436 94 84