Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is now a recyclable type of plastic after scientists at the University of Michigan discovered a way to chemically recycle the widely used material.

0%  Possability of Recycling PVC

PVC is a heavy-duty type of plastic with a zero percent recycling rate in the United States, but that is expected to change after research by university chemists found a way to re-use one of its most noxious components. The material is one of the most produced plastics in the nation and the third highest by volume in the world.

Credit Cards.


The researchers explored electrochemistry to find a way to recycle PVC plastics without using heat.

They discovered the plasticizer that caused a major challenge to recycle the material through traditional means in contrast improves the efficiency of the electrochemical method. And the hydrochloric acid problem is resolved, too.

What was found is that it still releases hydrochloric acid, but at a much slower, more controlled rate.

The acid can subsequently be used by industries as a reagent for other chemical reactions. Additional chemical components of PVC can also be re-used, though researchers continue to look for uses for other leftover materials.

PVC is used in a vast range of plastics, from medical equipment like tubing, blood bags, masks and more, to building materials such as modern plumbing, window frames, housing trim, siding, and flooring. It also coats electric wiring and is found in shower curtains, tents, tarps, and clothing.

The focus of McNeil’s lab at the university has been to find ways to chemically recycle various kinds of plastics. The idea is to break plastics down into component parts that are not degraded and can be re-used by industry.

It’s a failure of humanity to have created these amazing materials which have improved our lives in many ways, but at the same time to be so shortsighted that we didn’t think about what to do with the waste,” McNeil said. She said only a few types of plastics are recycled and it leads to progressively lower quality polymers. Our beverage bottles never become beverage bottles again. They become a textile or a park bench, which then ends up on a garbage dump or in a landfill,” McNeil said.

Pvc Mediacl Face Mask

PVC medical masks

How PVC is Made

PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride, is utilised in a vast array of distinct contexts. If you ask someone how PVC is manufactured, they will most likely give you a blank stare in response.

When you tell people that the primary components of PVC are salt and oil, they initially seem confused and then their eyebrows raise. Really!

The presence of vinyl compound can be observed in every aspect of our everyday lives. It is a versatile workhorse material that can be utilised for producing anything from medical tubing to backyard decking to power cable jackets. The applications for this material are virtually endless. If you take a moment to look around you at the moment, you will notice that a large number of the objects around you have some PVC component.

Are you intrigued by the production process of PVC?

The first thing that needs to be done is to separate the ethylene from the oil feedstock.

The petrochemical sector is the source of ethylene, a byproduct that is derived from natural gas. The procedure known as thermal cracking is what enables its collection. In steam furnaces, liquid petroleum is brought to a high temperature and then subjected to tremendous pressure. Because of this, there are shifts in the molecular weight of the compounds that can be found in petroleum feedstock. Ethylene can be detected, segmented, and collected by the process of changing the molecular weight. After that, it goes through the process of being re-cooled to the liquid condition.

The chlorine must then be extracted from the sea salt in the next phase.

During the electrolysis process, the element chlorine, which is normally contained in salt that has been derived from seawater, receives an additional electron. Chlorine is separated from the mixture, and then extracted from it, using an intense current of electrical that is sent through a salt water solution. This current must be intense enough to alter the molecular structure of the chlorine.

Ethylene dichloride (also known as EDC) is the product that results from the reaction of ethylene with chlorine. Following this, a second thermal cracking process takes place, which results in the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).

The VCM is sent through a reactor that contains catalysts, which is where the polymerization takes place. In layman’s terms, chemical reactions are what cause the molecules of VCM to react and eventually connect together.

PVC resin is produced when VCM molecules are linked together; this is the starting point for all vinyl compounds.

PVC resin has a cloudy structure and naturally exhibits fire retardant and chemical resistant qualities. It is also resistant to damage from high temperatures. Mixing vinyl resin with a variety of plasticizers, stabilisers, and modifiers results in the formulation of custom rigid, flexible, and blended vinyl compounds. These compounds are formulated to achieve specific properties, such as resistance to scuffs and marring, resistance to ultraviolet light, weatherability, colour considerations, and texturing capability, to name a few.

Since the company’s founding in 1950, Teknor Apex’s research and development teams and process engineers have been advising and guiding customers through the decision-making process. They continue to develop new compounds, which is made possible by the capability of our suppliers to continue developing new additives, which enables them to fulfil requirements that are becoming increasingly difficult.

The production of PVC resin and other vinyl compounds requires a great deal of technical expertise, scientific knowledge, and manual labour. It is possible for manufacturers from all over the world to produce the goods that we all use on a daily basis because they have access to the chemicals that they require, which are supplied by a number of different sectors as well as a huge and diverse employment sector.