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Technology Profile: Suspension Polymerization of Polyvinyl Chloride

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Polyvinyl Chloride Production from VCM (Suspension Polymerization) – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/polyvinyl-chloride-production-cost. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the third most commonly produced synthetic polymer, after polyethylene and poly-propylene. PVC is a white, brittle solid and it comes in two basic forms: rigid (RPVC) and flexible. It can be com-pounded for a wide range of properties, which allows PVC to be used in a broad range of applications. This commodity thermoplastic can be manufactured through different polymerization processes, however, most commercial PVC production is based on a suspension polymerization processes. To a lesser extent, PVC is produced at industrial scales via emulsion polymerization and bulk (mass) polymerization. The process The suspension process for PVC production comprises three major sections: (1) polymerization; (2) vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) recovery; and (3) drying (Figure 1). Figure 1. The diagram shows polyvinyl chloride production from VCM (suspension polymerization)[/caption] Polymerization. The VCM feed stream, along with hot demineralized water and chemicals (polymerization initiators,…
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