What Is Vinyl Chloride Monomer? 

Ekansh Agarwal

Updated on:

Are you looking for the vinyl chloride monomer, aren’t you? You have come to the right place. Vinyl chloride is a monomer used to form a very useful and popularly used polymer. Below, we will discuss it in detail. Vinyl chloride is also called chloroethene. It is a colorless, flammable, and important chemical intermediate used almost exclusively to produce a polymer, which we will discuss below. Vinyl chloride monomer manufacturers are based mainly on the ethylene feedstock route, except in mainland China, where the acetylene-based capacity dominates. Without taking much time, let me tell you about the vinyl chloride monomer

What Is Vinyl Chloride Monomer? 

Vinyl chloride monomer is used to form a polymer called Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC means polyvinyl chloride is used to make a variety of plastic products, including wire, cable coatings, pipes, and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is also produced as a combustion product in tobacco smoke. 

As far as vinyl chloride monomer toxicity is concerned, vinyl chloride is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer also called hepatic angiosarcoma, as well as brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia. 

Vinyl chloride monomer production is not that easy, yet it harms humans and the environment. Workers at facilities where VCM vinyl chloride monomer is produced or used may be exposed primarily through inhalation. The general population may be exposed to inhaling contaminated air or tobacco smoke. In the environment, the highest levels of vinyl chloride are found in the air around factories that produce vinyl chloride products.  

Due to Vinyl chloride monomer plant water becomes contaminated and if the water supply is contaminated, vinyl chloride can enter the household air when the water is used for showering, cooking, or laundry. 

Let’s know the properties of vinyl chloride monomers. 

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Vinyl Chloride Monomer Properties 

Here are some properties of Vinyl chloride monomer, 

  • Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that burns easily. 
  • At room temperature, vinyl chloride is a flammable gas. 
  • It is a chlorinated hydrocarbon occurring as a colorless, highly flammable gas with a mild, sweet odor that may cause toxic fumes of carbon dioxide. 
  • After burning vinyl chloride it fumes carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, and phosgene. 
  • Vinyl chloride is a good insulation material, and it has good dielectric strength. 
  • It is resistant to weathering, chemical rotting, corrosion, shock, and abrasion. 
  • It is durable, therefore a choice for many long-life and outdoor products. 

So, have a look at the vinyl chloride monomer structure and its functions. 

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Vinyl Chloride Structure And Function 

Here is the vinyl chloride structure and function one after another, 

Vinyl Chloride Structure 

Vinyl chloride is an organochlorine with the formula H2C=CHCI. It is also known as vinyl chloride monomer, which means VMC or chloroethene. In vinyl chloride, the double bond between carbon atoms is converted to a single bond as it shares out to the next vinyl chloride monomer, and so on, and so on. 

In the structure of the vinyl chloride monomer, chlorine contributes about 57% of the mass of vinyl chloride or molecule, while carbon and hydrogen are up to 38% and 5% respectively. 

Vinyl Chloride Function 

Vinyl chloride is used to make PVC pipes, wire coatings, vehicle upholstery, and plastic kitchenware. Besides this, higher than normal levels of vinyl chloride may be present inside new cars as the chemicals evaporate from new vinyl products. 

Economical, versatile vinyl chloride, is also used in a variety of applications including building and construction, health care, electronics, automobiles, wire and cable insulation, windshield system components, and more.   

Now, that you know all about the vinyl chloride monomer uses, let’s know some interesting facts about vinyl chloride. 

Facts About Vinyl Chloride 

The facts about vinyl chloride are, 

  • Vinyl chloride monomer is a colorless gas and evaporates very quickly. 
  • It does not occur naturally, so we need to manufacture it. 
  • It is used to make PVC polymer which is used in a variety of common plastic products such as pipes, packing materials, cable insulation, and many more. 
  • It has a mild, sweet odor. 
  • It burns easily and is not stable at high temperatures. 
  • It is heavier than air and can travel along the ground. 
  • It is also known as chloroethylene, chloroethene, and ethylene monochloride. 

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What Is Vinyl Chloride Monomer Used For?

Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature. Its chemical formula is C2H3Cl. It is primarily used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a very stable, non-flammable, lightweight and durable plastic.

Is Vinyl Chloride Monomer Toxic?

Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is an IARC group 1 carcinogen known to cause hepatic angiosarcoma (HAS) in highly exposed industrial workers. VCM is a component in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins. VCM is a halogenated hydrocarbon with acute toxic effects, as well as chronic carcinogenic effects.

Where Does Vinyl Chloride Monomer Come From?

VCM production is based mainly on the ethylene feedstock route, except in mainland China, where the acetylene-based capacity dominates. In the ethylene process, EDC is produced by direct chlorination from chlorine and ethylene, and in turn cracked to produce VCM.

Is Vinyl Chloride A Monomer Or Polymer?

Monomers are chemical precursors that link together to create polymer materials. Styrene and vinyl chloride are monomers that may be present in low concentrations in some polymer materials. The presence of these monomers can be related to the process controls during polymer production.

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What Is The Best Way To Produce Vinyl Chloride?

Heating 1,2-dichloroethane in the presence of a charcoal catalyst gives vinyl chloride. In the other process (called oxychlorination), ethylene, hydrogen chloride, and oxygen (or air) are heated in the presence of a copper catalyst to give vinyl chloride and water.

What Is An Example Of Vinyl Monomers?

The most important example of this monomer is vinyl chloride, as it is used on a wide scale for producing polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a type of plastic. This polymer is used in a lot of products like wires, raincoats, pipes, credit cards, bottles, flooring, etc.

How Do You Make Vinyl Chloride Monomer?

There are two methods to produce VCM: direct chlorination and oxychlorination. Direct chlorination sees ethylene and chlorine react within a catalyst-containing reactor to form EDC. EDC is then thermally cracked to yield VCM at a few hundred degrees Celsius.


In this article, you have learned about the monomer vinyl chloride along with its structure and function. While handling vinyl chloride you need to be very cautious and aware, it is because vinyl chloride is not health friendly. Its exposure can occur through breathing skin contact, people can also be exposed by drinking or cooking with contaminated water, which comes from the vinyl chloride manufacturing plant. So, this was all about vinyl chloride monomers


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What is the name of the monomer of vinyl chloride

What is vinyl chloride monomer used for