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vinyl chloride

Product name vinyl chloride
Synonyms chloroethylene
GOST no data
CAS 75-01-4

Vinyl chloride is a colorless, toxic, compressed liquefied gas with ether-like characteristic odor. It is readily soluble in most organic solvents; practically insoluble in water. As a typical alkene, vinyl chloride polymerizes itself to form polyvinylchloride (PVC) or as comonomer resulting in different copolymers. The polymerization process readily due to heating and under the influence of air, light, and on contact with a catalyst, strong oxidizing agents and metals such as copper and aluminium, with fire or explosion hazard. To prevent spontaneous polymerization commercial vinyl chloride is inhibited with phenol or hydroquinone. Vinyl chloride was briefly used as an inhalational anesthetic, though its toxicity forced this practice to be abandoned.


  • Generally vinyl chloride is manufactured from ethylene in two-stage process. At the first stage ethylene is directly chlorinated in liquid phase to form 1,2-dichloroethane. Then 1,2-dichloroethane is dehydrochlorinated at 400-550°C and 1.5-3.0 MPa in tubular reactor to form vinyl chloride and hydrogen chloride. In industrial practice, the released hydrogen chloride produced in this step is mixed with oxygen and then reacted with additional ethylene on a copper(II) chloride catalyst to produce even more 1,2-dichloroethane (oxidative chlorination). The hydrogen chloride consumed in this step exactly balances that produced in the second step, and the resulting balanced process neither requires hydrogen chloride as an input nor produces it as a waste:

    H2C=CH2 + Cl2 --> ClH2C-CH2Cl (direct chlorination)
    H2C=CH2 + 2HCl + 1/2O2 --> ClH2C-CH2Cl + H2O (oxidative chlorination)

    ClH2C-CH2Cl --> H2C=CHCl + HCl (dehydrochlorination)

    vinyl chloride synthesis from ethylene

  • Archaic method of vinyl chloride production is based on acetylene hydrochlorination 150-220°C on active carbon sodden wyth mercuric chloride Hg2Cl2:

    HCCH + HCl --> H2C=CHCl


  • the most important use of vinyl chloride is its polymerization to make polyvinylchloride PVC and a number of copolymers;
  • to produce chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methylchloroform), trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and vinylidene chloride.

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC Kaustik
    Chemical structure of vinyl chloride

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