What is the raw material of PVC?

March 15,2023

What is the raw material of PVC?

The raw materials for PVC are ethylene (obtained from crude oil) and chlorine (obtained from rock salt). These are the starting materials used in the synthesis of PVC.

When making PVC, these raw materials are mixed together to make vinyl chloride monomer. The VCM is then polymerized with appropriate additives to produce a customized PVC compound.

Plastic PVC is most commonly used by plumbers and very clever DIY enthusiasts. This material and pipe were designed to transport water, as it cannot wear out over time like rusting metal can. PVC is also structurally very strong. When parts are constructed properly, it can support structures that are hundreds of pounds! This class aims to go over the material properties of PVC as well as the most common ways it is worked, machined, joined, and finished. You'll be inspired to create furnit...



Ethylene is the raw material that produces PVC, a plastic that's used in many products that we use on a daily basis. It's a common ingredient in plastic bags, credit cards, raincoats, children's toys, and even some of our furniture.

PVC is a thermoplastic, which means it softens when it's heated and can be melted again to make new products or recycled for reuse. It also happens to be a highly versatile plastic and is widely used in the construction industry for everything from pipes to door frames.

Unlike other plastics, it doesn't take as much energy to make and lasts a long time. It is a common ingredient in products such as water pipes, ducting, and flooring.

While ethylene is most often made from oil and salt, it can also be made from bio-derived hydrocarbons in regions of the world where there are no petroleum resources available. This makes it much less oil-dependent than other thermoplastics, and it's a very efficient use of ethylene.

It's important to note that the process for making PVC is highly polluting, as it involves a large amount of toxic waste. Some of these toxins can cause health problems such as cancer, fetal developmental setbacks, endocrine disruption, and asthma.

The chemistry behind the production of PVC is complex, but in general, it involves a combination of chemical processes, including steam cracking, sulfation, and co-production. In addition to ethylene, other chemicals are added to the mixture to create different grades of PVC.

These additives determine the number of properties of the final product, such as its mechanical properties, weather resistance, and whether it's intended to be flexible. For example, if a product is meant to be used in the automotive industry, it needs to be able to resist UV light, corrosion, and heat.

In the same way, if the product is going to be used in the medical field, it might need to be free of phthalates and have special coatings that make it safe to use inside the body. Other applications include surgical tools, blood bags, fluid bags, tubing, heart and lung bypass sets, masks, gloves, bottles and jars, drainage systems, ducting, and much more.

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Chlorine is an essential raw material for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the third most consumed pvc polymer. PVC is a lightweight, durable, strong, and versatile material that is used in a variety of applications, including pipes and drainage pipes, electrical wiring insulation, window frames, and medical devices.

The chlorine in PVC is sourced from upstream industries, such as basic petrochemical producers and the chlor-alkali industry. They supply ethylene and chlorine through electrolysis or thermal cracking of naphtha or natural gas.

Once synthesised, chlorine is then processed to produce vinyl chloride monomer, or VCM. The chemical process opens the double bonds in the vinyl chloride monomer, allowing neighboring molecules to join together and form long chains.

During the manufacturing process, significant quantities of additives are added to increase PVC's plasticity and flexibility. These include heat-enhancing additives, UV stabilizers, plasticizers, impact modifiers, and fillers.

These additives are often derived from other substances, such as nitrile rubbers and pigments and colorants. These are used to enhance the properties of the PVC and allow for various manufacturing processes such as blow molding, calendaring, injection molding, or compression molding.

When heated, these additives can release a toxic, flammable gas into the air. This gas is known to cause respiratory problems and can also have carcinogenic effects.

The environmental impact of this process can be severe, especially for the production of CPVC. The use of CPVC has increased in recent years, but the emissions from production and transportation of this material can cause serious problems for the environment. Consequently, the government in the United States has introduced regulations to limit emissions from chlorine-producing facilities.

Sodium hydroxide

PVC is a synthetic resin that finds applications in a variety of materials, such as pipes, cable insulation, roofing sheets, packaging foils, floor coverings, and bottles. It is made from vinyl chloride monomer, which is produced by linking ethylene and chlorine through polymerization.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is also known as Caustic soda, and it is a strong chemical base in many industrial processes. It is also used for pH adjustment, to purify drinking water, and in household cleaners. It is a white, waxy, odorless crystal with a high concentration of sodium and hydroxide ions.

It is also used in the manufacture of soap and detergents. It is used to make bar soap and is often found in liquid drain cleaners.

Another common use of sodium hydroxide is in food preparation. Besides making soap, it is used to wash fruits and vegetables, to peel fruit and vegetables for canning, to remove skin from tomatoes or to scald poultry, as a thickening agent in soft drinks, to cure food or to prevent mold growth, and as an ingredient in baking mixes.

However, it is important to remember that the amount of sodium hydroxide in any given product should always be based on individual body chemistry and personal preferences. In addition, certain individuals may be allergic to sodium hydroxide and should avoid it if they are experiencing symptoms such as itching, redness, or swelling of the eyes, nose, or throat.

If you are concerned that sodium hydroxide might be toxic to you or if you are having a reaction to it, please contact your doctor immediately. There are several things you can do to reduce the chances of a reaction, including drinking plenty of water.

Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive substance, which means it can cause serious harm when inhaled or in contact with the skin. This is why it is important to follow safety instructions and wear protective clothing when handling NaOH.

Fortunately, most workplaces that use sodium hydroxide have put in place regulations for safe exposure levels. In some cases, workers may have to wear special respiratory equipment to ensure they are not exposed to the dangerous fumes.


PVC is one of the most versatile thermoplastic resins. It can be used in a huge variety of end applications and formulated with a vast number of additives to enhance its performance. These include plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, processing aids, impact modifiers, lubricants, foaming agents, biocides, and pigments.

The basic raw material of PVC is a mixture of ethylene and chlorine, derived from hydrocarbons and sea salt. The chlorine is extracted from salt via electrolysis, and the ethylene is derived from petroleum and natural gas.

In pvc production, ethylene and chlorine are reacted together to produce a liquid molecule called ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane). The hydrogen chloride is then decomposed by heating in a high-temperature furnace or reactor, with the result being the oxychlorination of the ethylene chloride.

This process can be repeated several times in order to achieve a desired concentration of ethylene chloride and thus a certain level of purity. The compound that is made is then combined with water and oxygen in a process called polymerization.

Addition polymerization is a chemical reaction that breaks the double bonds in the vinyl chloride monomers. This lets nearby molecules join together to form long chains, which can then be pushed out into different shapes and sizes. This process allows for the production of a wide range of PVC products, including pipes, piping systems, and window profiles.

The recyclability of PVC is excellent, allowing the material to be recycled many times with minimal environmental impact. It is also a very flexible material that can be molded into a wide range of different shapes and sizes.

Its high resistance to heat and light make it ideal for construction, electrical insulation, and a wide variety of other applications. However, it has some limitations, which can be overcome by adding the appropriate stabilizers and plasticizers during the manufacturing process.

The most pervasive myth surrounding PVC is that the plasticizers used in its manufacture are harmful. This is a misconception, as there have been numerous peer-reviewed studies and third-party reports that show the plasticizers in PVC do not pose any health risks.