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Benzene is the simplest aromatic carbon compound, a hydrocarbon with the chemical formulae C6H6. The benzene molecule is composed of six carbon atoms joined in a planar ring with one hydrogen atom attached to each.

In situ Production

There are a number of ways to produce benzene from methane and other simple hydrocarbons.

Benzene is a byproduct of ethylene production by steam reformation. This might be the first method used on Mars, as ethylene is required for a number of industrial processes, including the production of polyethylene plastic.

Other processes


Benzene is used to produce polyester (PET) though a number of alternate routes, in particular the production of Terephthalic acid (C6H4(CO2H)2) that is then reacted with ethylene glycol, to produce polyester.

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