In 1949, the BASF scientist Dr. Fritz Stastny invented the “expanded polystyrene (EPS)”. The source material for polystyrene is styrene, which is derived from crude oil.
Styrene also naturally occurs.

It is present in small amounts, for example, in strawberries, pineapples and coffee beans.  Polystyrene is made of styrene produced by a chemical procedure known as polymerization.  In this procedure, styrene molecules are linked to polystyrene chains.  Pentane is used as an expanding agent.  This leads to the generation of a bead-like, expanded polystyrene.

When these beads are heated up with water vapor / steam, they expand into a form that is roughly forty times their original size. The foamed beads are then once again frothed up with steam and then reprocessed using injection molding machines – for example, into packaging products like insulated coolers / shippers or protective corners and end caps.

 
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