Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (2024)

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (1)

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride

Going towards climate-friendliness by advanced technologies

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (2)

The Vinnolit EDC/VCM/PVC process

a climate-friendly technology

Right from the outset, low primary energy consumption and heat recovery have always been a focus of the research and development activities relating to the Vinnolit EDC/VCM/PVC process, whether to the overall process or the individual process units.

Benefits of our CNC direct chlorination & oxychlorination technology

Our CNC direct chlorination technology enables operation at high temperatures coupled with superior product quality. Due to the high quality, the EDC produced does not need to be distilled before being fed to the EDC cracking unit, thereby saving energy. The high reaction temperature allows for several heat recovery options, e.g. for heating of distillation columns or for drying of PVC in a fluidized bed dryer.

The oxychlorination unit uses the reaction heat of the highly exothermic oxychlorination reaction to generate medium-pressure steam which covers a major part of the steam consumption of the entire EDC/VCM/PVC plant.

Energy recovery in EDC cracking and distillation units

The EDC cracking unit includes our unique EDC evaporator system which recovers the sensible heat of the reaction mixture leaving the cracking furnace by evaporating the feed EDC. Heating the cracking furnace partly or entirely with hydrogen (e.g. from a chlor-alkali electrolysis or green hydrogen plant) can lower the CO2 footprint of the EDC cracking unit further.

Special technical features in the EDC distillation unit result in a significant energy saving. Depending on the individual plant configuration, heat recovery can also be performed in the VCM distillation section. With our recycle EDC chlorination a dry lights distillation system is no longer necessary and this saves further energy.

Recirculation of process streams

The HCl recovery section generates steam, which also contributes to supplying the plant with steam from internal sources. Furthermore, gaseous HCl is fed back to the oxychlorination unit, which results in chlorine savings and thus energy savings.

The PVC technology boasts several environment-friendly features for example the utilization of heat from the centrifuges and the condensate and process water recycling with hot water charging back to the polymerization process.

Near-zero CO2 footprint

The entire EDC/VCM process can also be operated on ethylene feedstock from renewable sources.

Due to numerous possible combinations of heat recovery and energy-saving measures, the primary energy demand and thereby the CO2 footprint of the Vinnolit EDC/VCM/PVC process can be lowered to a near-zero value.

All of the above features are the result of over 25 years of continuous development work and have proven reliable in operation.

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (3)


Table of contents

1. Company profile 3

2. The Vinnolit VCM process 4

2.1 General process description 5

2.2 Direct chlorination 6

2.3 Oxychlorination 8

2.4 EDC distillation 10

2.5 EDC cracking 11

2.6 VCM distillation 12

2.7 Measures to recover by-products and to protect the environment 13

2.7.1 HCl recycling with waste gas heat recovery 13

2.7.2 Waste water treatment 13

2.7.3 Liquid and waste gas collection systems 13

2.8 Cumulated capacity of reference plants 14

3. The Vinnolit S-PVC process 15

3.1 Description of the S-PVC process 16

3.2 Advantages of the S-PVC process 17

3.3 The new Vinnolit High-Performance Reactor for suspension PVC 18

3.4 The Vinnolit MST Cyclone Drier 19

3.5 Products and applications 20

4. References 21

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (4)

The Chemical and Process Technologies business unit of

thyssenkrupp is a technology-driven engineering, procurement and

construction partner for the global chemical industry. It was founded

nearly 100 years ago under the name of Uhde. With its international

network of subsidiaries and branch offices, the company has to date

successfully completed over 2,500 projects throughout the world.

We develop innovative processes and products for a more sustainable

future and thus contribute to the long-term success of our customers in

almost all areas of the chemical industry. Our portfolio includes leading

technologies for the production of basic chemicals, fertilizers and

polymers as well as complete value-chains for green hydrogen and

sustainable chemicals.

tkIS and Vinnolit – Partners for vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride

Our licensor for the Ethylene Dichloride (EDC), Vinyl Chloride

Monomer (VCM) and for the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) process is

Vinnolit GmbH & Co. KG.

Vinnolit is one of Europe’s leading EDC, VCM and PVC producers

with a capacity of 780,000 t/year of PVC, 665,000 t/year of VCM

and upstream chlorine plants. They enhance and optimise their

process technology on a permanent basis. Vinnolit was founded

in 1993 as a 50/50 joint venture between Hoechst AG and

Wacker Chemie GmbH. The new company drew on the

experience of its two founders, both active in the vinyl sector for

almost 60 years. In 2014, Vinnolit became part of Westlake

Chemical Corporation, a leading international manufacturer and

supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and PVC construction

products headquartered in Houston.

Since 1964 the licensor has granted licences for a capacity of

more than 14 million tonnes of EDC, approx. 6.5 million tonnes

of VCM and about 2.9 million tonnes of S-PVC.

The cooperation between the licensor and tkIS has been successful

for some 50 years. tkIS is the sole basic engineering partner for

Vinnolit’s EDC, VCM and PVC processes.


1. Company profile

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (5)

Knapsack (Cologne), which have a com-

bined capacity of 665,000 t/year, as well

as at many other plants worldwide.

The modern Vinnolit process for the pro-

duction of VCM has the following major

distinctive features:

High operational reliability:

Reliable reaction control

Time-proven materials and equipment

State-of-the-art process control system

2. The Vinnolit EDC/VCM process

Vinyl chloride (VCM), which is made from

ethylene and chlorine, is used as feedstock

in the production of the standard plastic

material PVC.

The market for PVC and hence VCM has

continued to grow, thus dispelling the fore-

casts made in the 80s, according to which

PVC would be substituted by other plastics.

The reasons for this were not only the mani-

fold applications and properties of PVC, but

also the progress made in limiting emissions

and by-products during production. PVC pro-

duction capacity attained growth rates of

approx. 6% per year, accounting for approx.

47 million tonnes worldwide in 2010. For the

next few years, growth rates in the order of

4% per year are again expected.

As a chemical engineering contractor, tkIS

added VCM to its range of processes some

40 years ago and has to date designed and

constructed plants with a total nominal ca-

pacity of approx. 6 million tonnes.

High economic efficiency:

Low energy consumption due to the

utilisation of reaction and waste gas

heat and integration with PVC or

caustic soda plants

High yields

Optimised reaction conditions and

reaction control

Utilisation of by-products containing

Cl2 along with the recycling of HCl gas

High on-stream factor

Low personnel requirement

Low maintenance costs

High flexible, wide range of load

Extremely low pollution levels:

≤ 0.01 ppm VCM (annual average)

in working areas

Extremely low VCM emissions

Small waste water quantities

with EDC/VCM contents ≤ 1 ppm

In-plant disposal of low-boiling and

high-boiling constituents in conjunction

with HCl gas recycling and steam


Special facilities for preventing emissions

when the plant is shut down

Thermal waste gas treatment

Expected consumption figures for raw materials

and utilities per 1,000 kg VCM product

The VCM process applied by tkIS is licensed

by Vinnolit. The current high technological

standard was reached through intensive

development work on the part of Vinnolit in

collaboration with tkIS. The process has

been successfully applied at Vinnolit’s ex-

isting plants at Gendorf (Bavaria) and at

Ethylene (100 %) 459 kg

Chlorine (100 %) 575 kg

Oxygen (100 %) 139 kg

Steam 250 kg1

Fuel gas 2.7 GJ

1)Combined figure for VCM / PVC plant: 435 kg


Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC),

Mesaieed, Qatar

Capacities of the complex:

360,000 t/year of DC-EDC

175,000 t/year of Oxy-EDC

230,000 t/year of VCM

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (6)

The process for the production of vinyl chlo-

ride monomer (VCM) from ethylene proceeds

in several process sections.

In the first process section, ethylene dichlo-

ride (EDC; 1,2 dichloroethane) is produced

by direct chlorination, in the second section

by oxychlorination. Both reactions are exo-


1st section:

C2H4 + Cl2 C2H4Cl2 + 218 kJ/mole

2nd section:

C2H4 + 2HCl + 1/2O2

C2H4Cl2 + H2O + 238 kJ/mole

3rd section:

C2H4Cl2 C2H3Cl + HCl - 71 kJ/mole

VCM synthesis: 2 C2H4 + Cl2 + 1⁄2 O2 2 C2H3Cl + H2O Schematic diagram of a VCM plant

E t h y l en e

C 2 H 4



O x y g e n

O 2

C2H4 C2H4Cl2

+ Cl2 Cat + 218 kJ/mole







C2H4Cl2 ΔH C2H3Cl + HCl

– 71 kJ/mole

recycle EDC



crack ing





liquid + gaseous


Vinyl chloride




2.1 General process description

Biggest VCM plant in China

SINOPEC Qilu Petrochemical Corp.

Linzi, Zibo, Shandong Prov., China

400,000 t/year of VCM (balanced)

The EDC produced by direct chlorination is

fed straight into the cracking section without

any further purification.

The heat of this exothermic reaction can be

used for PVC drying in the PVC plant or for

heating of columns in the EDC distillation

unit depending on the individual plant con-


The EDC formed by oxychlorination passes

through a purification stage (EDC distillation).

In the third process section, the EDC is

cracked, and the VCM formed there, as well

as the hydrogen chloride and unconverted

EDC, are separated in a VCM distillation unit.

The VCM is temporarily stored in a tank,

while the HCl is returned to the oxychlorina-

tion unit and the unconverted EDC to the

cracking section.

Any process water obtained undergoes treat-

ment. Waste gases containing pollutants as

well as liquid by-products are fed to the HCl

recovery unit and converted to HCl, CO2 and


The recovered HCl is reused in the oxychlo-

rination process, which leads to a complete

conversion of the input chlorine.

The diagram shows the individual sections

of the overall process which are described

on the following pages.

C2H4 + 2 HCl + 1⁄2 O2 Cat C2H4Cl2 + H2O + 238 kJ/mole


Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (7)


2.2 Direct chlorination

In the direct chlorination process, EDC is

produced by means of a highly exothermal

reaction of ethylene and chlorine.

The main feature of the Vinnolit direct

chlorination process is an innovative boiling

reactor with natural convection flow.

Recently, as a result of a joint development

project of tkIS and Vinnolit, the compact

natural circulation (CNC) reactor was devel-

oped and now is ready for introduction on

the market. In the CNC reactor, the natural

circulation is established in an internal loop

consisting of a riser section and a down-

comer section, leading to a more contact

and cost-saving reactor design.

The Vinnolit Direct Chlorination process

operates at boiling conditions with a tem-

perature of 120°C. The heat of reaction is

removed by boiling off EDC from the boiling

reactor. A big portion of this heat can be

recovered by several heat recovery options,

e.g. heating of distillation columns in the

EDC distillation unit or heating of a fluidised

bed PVC drier in the PVC plant yielding a

reduction of steam consumption of up to

700 kg / tonne of EDC.

The reaction is carried out in the riser sec-

tion of the CNC reactor. In contrast to other

processes, gaseous ethylene is first com-

pletely pre-dissolved in the lower part of the

riser section of the CNC reactor.

Gaseous chlorine is added via an injector

nozzle to a relatively small circulating EDC

side stream withdrawn in the downcomer

section of the CNC reactor and cooled to

allow the chlorine to be better pre-

dissolved. This cooling provides another

opportunity to recover the heat of reaction.

The ethylene solution and the completely

predissolved chlorine are mixed in the reac-

tion zone of the riser and react to EDC in a

fast liquid-phase reaction which significantly

lowers by-product formation.

Due to the reduced static pressure head

in the top section of the riser, the EDC

starts boiling. The product amount and

some excess EDC are withdrawn from the

upper part of the CNC reactor and passed

on to the product vessel and a stripping

column to achieve 'Sales EDC' quality, if

required. The excess EDC is recycled to

the main reactor loop.

In contrast to competitive direct chlorination

processes, the Vinnolit Direct Chlorination

process does not use FeCl3, but a complex

compound as catalyst. The catalyst sup-

presses the formation of by-products and

ensures higher selectivity to EDC.

Thus the Vinnolit Direct Chlorination process

combines the energy efficiency of a high-

temperature chlorination (HTC) process with

the EDC purity of a low-temperature chlorin-

ation (LTC) process. The catalyst is fed to the

reactor loop before start-up and does not

have to be topped up in normal operation.

The process is particularly

environment-friendly, because:

The energy recovery options lead to a

significant reduction of CO2-emissions

The formation of high-boiling

constituents is significantly reduced

Extremely small quantities of low-boiling

constituents are formed (only a few ppm)

No scrubbing water is required and

No catalyst is discharged with the product.

The catalyst has no corrosive properties be-

cause of its complex structure, and therefore

the process equipment can be made mainly

of ordinary carbon steel. Existing plants can

be converted without any difficulty.

The advantages of the process can be

summarised as follows:

Nearly no consumption of catalyst

High raw material yields

High EDC purity: 99.9 %

Utilisation of reaction heat, e.g. for

heating of distillation columns or drying

of PVC, leading to a reduction in steam

consumption of up to 700 kg / tonne of


Low investment costs

Complete reaction in only one reactor

Proven materials and reliable and simple


High active and selective catalyst

Utilising the reaction heat saves energy and

reduces emissions of CO2 by an amount

equivalent to the energy savings. Thus, car-

bon certificate trading has a positive effect

on production costs.

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (8)


Refrigerant Direct chlorination process

using a boiling reactor Waste gas to







column Ethylene

P r o d uc t v es s e l

Sales - EDC Heat N2


CNC Reactor Furnace feed EDC

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (9)

2.3 Oxychlorination

In the oxychlorination process, EDC is formed

by a highly exothermal catalytic reaction of

ethylene with hydrogen chloride and oxygen.

The reaction takes place in a fluidised-bed

reactor, and the reaction heat is used for

steam generation. In the downstream quench

column, a major portion of the reaction water

is removed by condensation. To remove

small quantities of chlorinated hydrocarbons

from the reaction water, it is transferred to

the effluent treatment facilities.

By cooling the reaction gases further by

means of cooling water (CW) and refrigerant

(R), the raw EDC is removed by condensation

and fed to the EDC distillation unit, where it is

purified to obtain “feed EDC quality”.

The Vinnolit oxychlorination process can use

oxygen from air separation units as well as

oxygen from pressure swing adsorption

units (PSA oxygen). In the reactor the cata-

lyst is fluidised with circulation gas. Just

enough oxygen is added to the reactor to

keep the concentration of the circulation gas

outside the flammable range (oxygen lean

operation). The very small off-gas stream of

inerts and carbon oxides which is formed in

the process is fed to the HCl recycle unit

without further treatment. The reaction

mixture, consisting of C2H4, HCl and O2, is

catalytically converted in the fluidised-bed

reactor to EDC in a highly exothermal reaction

at a temperature of > 200°C. The heat is

dissipated via internal cooling coils and

recovered to generate steam. Independent of

load the generated steam has a constant

pressure level.

The excellent distribution in the fluidised-bed

makes it possible to maintain a constant tem-

perature, to ensure low by-product formation

and to achieve optimum process control.

The reaction gas passes a filter unit in which

the catalyst fines are separated from the

gas. Depending on customer's require-

ments, also a waste water treatment section

comprising a precipitation and sludge filtra-

tion step can be implemented. To remove

the reaction water, the hot reaction gases

are quenched and the EDC is condensed

with the aid of chilled water in a multi-stage

condensation unit. The crude EDC is purified

in an EDC distillation unit to obtain “feed

EDC quality”.

The reaction water obtained is passed to

the waste water treatment facilities to re-

move the small quantities of chlorinated

hydrocarbons it contains.


Hydrogenation reactor

Hydrogen chloride



HCl from TDI / MDI possible


Oxychlorination reactor

Circulating-gas compressor

Boiler feedwater


Catalyst f i l tration

Quench column


water treatment

Effluent to waste

Waste gas to


Crude EDC


Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (10)


Oxychlorination reactor Erection of oxychlorination reactor BorsodChem Rt., Hungary

The modern oxychlorination process of Vinnolit has

the following distinctive features:

Fluidised-bed reactor with good reaction heat distribution:

no hot spots, no catalyst stickiness

Proven materials and reliable and simple equipment

Reactor and cooling coils made of carbon steel

Crude EDC purity: 99.6 %

High conversion of C2H4 to EDC: 99.0 %

Low catalyst consumption

Removal of catalyst fines either by simple waste water

treatment or by catalyst filtration

High flexibility of the plant, wide range of load

Production of 10 bar steam for distillation units possible

High safety standard, O2 content < 1 %

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (11)

2.4 EDC distillation

To produce pure feed EDC, both the EDC

obtained in the oxychlorination process and

the EDC not converted in the cracking

process (recycle EDC) are treated in the EDC

distillation unit in order to remove water as

well as low-boiling and high-boiling com-


The wet raw EDC from the oxychlorination

unit is fed to the heads column in order to

remove the water and low-boiling substanc-

es by distillation. The water phase of the

head product containing small quantities of

chlorinated hydrocarbons and sodium

chloride is transferred to the waste water

treatment unit. The organic phase and the

off-gas are fed to the incineration unit.

The dry bottom product from the heads

column together with the unconverted EDC

from the cracking process are separated

from the high-boiling compounds in the

high-boil and vacuum columns. These high-

boiling compounds are withdrawn from the

bottom of the vacuum column and sent to

the incineration unit.

By default, the high-boil column is oper-

ated at elevated pressure and the

overhead vapours of this column are used

to heat the heads column and the vacuum

column. Depending on customer's

requirements also other heat recovery

options can be realized.


EDC evaporator and cracking furnace

from VCM distillation

Crude EDC

from oxychlorination

Recycle EDC

Head s co l um n


S t e a m

C o n d .

High-boils column


Vacuum co lum n

Low-boiling components to incineration

Effluent to waste water treatment

Waste gas to incineration

CW ______________ R

from cracking

High-boiling components to incineration

Cracking EDC

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (12)

2.5 EDC cracking

The cracking of 1,2 dichloroethane takes

place in a cracking furnace heated by fuel.

VCM and HCl are formed at temperatures

of 480°C, the reaction being endothermic

and incomplete.

In addition to VCM and HCl, by-products of

various chemical structures and co*ke are


The external EDC pre-evaporation facility

reduces the formation of co*ke in the crack-

ing furnace considerably. The operating

periods between two deco*king intervals are

very long (up to 2 years).

The advantages of Vinnolit’s modern EDC

cracking process can be summarised as


High reliability due to low co*ke formation

High savings in primary and secondary

energy, due to:

- External EDC pre-evaporation using

cracking gas heat

- Utilisation of flue gas and cracking

gas heat to preheat combustion air, to

generate steam or to preheat EDC

Low maintenance costs

Proven materials and reliable equipment

3D model of one of the world's largest PVC complexes

build in Middle East

On the left: The EDC cracking furnaces

Capacities of the complex:

570,000 t/year of chlorine

329,000 t/year of sales EDC

343,000 t/year of VCM

340,000 t/year of PVC


Cracking EDC

Cond. Steam

Combustion air



to VCM distillation

to VCM distillation

Cracking product

Recyle EDC

to EDC distillation


Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (13)

2.6 VCM distillation

The product from the cracking unit consists

of VCM, HCl, unconverted EDC and by-prod-

ucts of various chemical structures.

Hydrogen chloride is recovered in the HCl

column and fed to the oxychlorination unit.

Vinyl chloride is obtained at the top of the

VCM column.

Any traces of HCl are removed from the VCM

in the HCl stripper. The overhead product of

the HCl stripper is recycled to the HCl column

via a H2O removal unit which removes

moisture from the distillation process and

protects against moisture build-up.

The bottom product of the VCM column,

i.e. un-converted EDC, is returned to the

EDC distillation process after the low-

boiling compounds have been converted

by chlorination to high-boiling compounds.

Thus the difficult and energy-consuming

separation of recycle EDC from other low-

boiling components is avoided.

The Vinnolit EDC distillation unit can do

without a low-boil column for recycle

EDC with all its related problems.

Advantages of the VCM column:

HCl content in VCM < 1 ppm without

using caustic

Long on-stream time of VCM distillation

unit, because of no co*ke carry over from

hot quench system

Vapor feed of HCl stripper overhead

product to the HCl column, no

condensation system necessary

Lower power consumption for HCl

condensation compared to low

pressure HCl column

Advantages of the recycle EDC chlorination:

No separation of low-boiling compounds


Low investment cost in comparison to

a low-boil column

Easy operation

No steam consumption

Low maintenance cost


S t e a m

C o n d .


from Cracking



unit product

HCl to oxychlorination

HCl column


S t e a m

C o n d . Heat


VCM column


EDC chlorination unit

S t e a m

C o n d .

H2O removal

HCl stripper


to EDC distillation



Recycle EDC

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (14)

2.7 Measures to recover by-products and to protect the environment

2.7.1 HCl recycling with waste gas

heat recovery

In the production of VCM, not only 1,2

dichloro-ethane is produced as a desirable

intermediate product, but also further by-

products, consisting of a mixture of high-

boiling and low-boiling compounds, are

obtained in liquid or gaseous form.

In a new modified Vinnolit process, these

by-products are completely converted in an

oxidation process to form CO2, water and

hydrogen chloride. This process operates

with an excess of air at approx. 1,150°C.

The heat of the hot combustion gases is ex-

ploited to generate steam, and the hydrogen

chloride is recovered as a valuable feedstock

which is returned in gaseous form to the

oxychlorination process.

Alternatively, aqueous HCl of 25 to 30% can

be produced.

The treated waste gas complies with all

applicable German statutory regulations in

force since 3.5.2000, including those con-

cerning the concentration of dioxins and

furanes (< 0.1 ng TE/m3).

The advantages of the HCl recycling

process are:

Recovery of hydrogen chloride from the


Optimum utilisation of the input chlorine

to produce VCM

Utilisation of the energy content of the

by-products in the form of steam

Use of proven technology and materials

Environment-friendly process

2.7.2 Waste water treatment

The process effluent from the VCM plant

and any splash water are sent to a waste

water treatment unit. Chlorinated hydrocar-

bons are removed by distillation, hydrogen

chloride by neutralisation with caustic soda

solution. A copper content of less than 1

ppm is ensured either by dry catalyst

filtration in the oxychlorination or by treat-

ment of the waste water using flocculation,

sedimentation and filtration.

The treated effluent, which meets the statu-

tory purity requirements, is subsequently

fed to a biological treatment unit.

The sludge obtained as a waste product is

dumped or incinerated.

2.7.3 Liquid and waste gas collection


Liquid EDC and VCM from drains, cleaning

of filters, reboilers etc. are collected in

closed systems and returned to the process

loop to protect the environment.

Sources of continuous waste gas streams

are connected to waste gas headers and

the gas is sent to the HCl recovery unit.


HCl recovery unit

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (15)


The view of Europe's biggest and

most modern VCM plant at Vinnolit

in Knapsack near Cologne.

Capacity: 190,000 t/year of EDC

370,000 t/year of VCM

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (16)

1 5

3. The Vinnolit S-PVC process

The suspension polymerisation process for

manufacturing polyvinyl chloride is the most

important way to produce a variety of

general-purpose and highly sophisticated

grades of PVC. This process was invented in

1935 and first patented by Wacker Chemie

GmbH, one of the former parent companies

of Vinnolit. Continuous developments had

been made in recipes, product quality and

technology. Due to this long experience and

continuous improvements, Vinnolit can offer

a modern and highly economic process for

the production of S-PVC worldwide. A

Vinnolit team of specialists is available to

tailor plant design according to licensee’s


Vinnolit technology is characterised by:

Vinnolit‘s proprietary technology for all units

Clean and closed reactor technology

High productivity

Low raw materials consumption

Low waste water amount

(waste water recovery)

Low energy consumption

Low investment cost

Low maintenance cost

High safety level

Leading in environmental

protection – DIN ISO 14001 certified

High product quality – DIN ISO 9001


3D model of one of the world's

largest PVC complexes build in

Middle East

Capacities of the complex:

570,000 t/year of chlorine

329,000 t/year of sales EDC

343,000 t/year of VCM

340,000 t/year of PVC

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (17)


3.1 Description of the S-PVC process

Vinyl chloride and hot water are fed to the

Vinnolit High-Performance Reactor by

means of a special charging program.

Once the polymerisation has been completed

the content of the reactor is discharged into a

blowdown vessel and from here continuously

fed to the Intensive Degassing System.

The nonconverted monomer is stripped out,

condensed and fed back into the process.

After degassing and recovery of the latent

heat, the water is separated by centrifuge and

the wet PVC leaving the centrifuge is fed into

the drying section. A big part of the water

from the centrifuge is recovered in a waste

water recovery unit (for pipe grade) and sent

back to the high performance reactors.

The wet PVC is dried by means of heated

air in a fluidized bed drier or the Vinnolit

MST Cyclone drier

After drying, the PVC powder is conveyed

pneumatically to the silo and bagging unit.

Consumption figures for raw materials and


Low consumption of monomers, demin.

water, chemicals and auxiliary materials,

low energy consumption due to heat re-

covery, results in low production cost.

Especially, the utilization of hot water gener-

ated in the VCM plant for heating of the PVC

drier yields very low energy consumption in

the PVC plant.

Consumption per 1,000kg of PVC powder

at the production plant including VCM


Vinyl chloride 1,001 kg

Demineralised water 1.4 m3)

Chemicals 2.5 kg

Steam 700 kg4)

3) Without waste water recovery 2.3 m3

4) Combined figure for VCM and PVC plant: 435 kg

This data is based on average values.

The consumption values depend on K

values, on recipes and location.



Demin. water

Dispersing agent


Recovered VCM











Waste water





H o t w a t e r


Fluidized bed drier

to waste water treatment unit


Hot water

PVC powder to silo


A i r

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (18)

Clean reactor technology

Scale-free operation is achieved through the

use of reliable lining inhibitors, optimum

operating conditions during polymerisation

and a reactor designed to suit the require-

ments specified.

This means:

High-Performance Reactor

Clean and closed reactor technology

Heat dissipation remains constant

It is therefore not necessary to frequently

open the reactor for cleaning purposes.

Process control system

The whole plant is controlled with the aid

of a digital process control system.

This results in:

Precise metering of the individual

components during reactor charging

High constancy of the present process


Excellent reproducibility of the process giv-

ing extremely consistent product quality

High level of plant safety and reliability

Low personnel requirement

Intensive Degassing System

Our own work on the development of an

intensive column degassing technology has

resulted in perfect, continuously operating

processes with the following conditions:

Extremely low residual VCM content in

the PVC slurry and in the PVC products

Gentle degassing conditions

Grade change without opening the


Extremely low VCM emissions


In a fluidized bed drier, the PVC is dried to

the required moisture content. This op-

eration can be performed highly economic

because of the possible heat integration

with the VCM plant.

PVC High-Performance Reactor (inside view)

In addition, the polymerisation system is

completely safeguarded and can stop the

reaction under extreme conditions e.g.

simultaneous failure of coolant and

power supply.


According to Vinnolit’s commitment with

regard to environmental protection, the

offered S-PVC process sets a new standard.

Clean and closed reactor technology, pro-

cess automation and effective degassing of

product means that VCM emissions are

kept at an extremely low level and under

normal operating conditions are far lower

than the figures required at present:

Less than 1 mg/m3 in drier off-air

Less than 1 mg/m3 in waste water

Less than 2 vol. ppm (shift average

value in the air at the workplace).

Effective measures keep PVC emissions in

the drier off-air to less than 10 mg/m3.

1 7

3.2 Advantages of the S-PVC process

Polymerisation Reactors

The safety concept

The whole safety concept, including its

computer process control system, permits

a particularly high level of operational


Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (19)

The requirements of a modern high-perfor-

mance polymerisation reactor with a high


Short non-reaction time

to be reached by:

- Closed and clean reactor technology

- Efficient anti-fouling technology

- No reactor opening

- No high-pressure cleaning

- No heating up of the batch

- Optimised charging procedure, i.e.

simultaneous hot water/VCM charging

- Automatic catalyst charging

Minimal reaction time to be reached by:

- Fast reaction-heat dissipation

- Large reactor technology

- Volumes up to 160 m3

- Adapted recipes

To achieve a minimal reaction time, the

reaction heat has to be dissipated out of

the reactor quickly.

by increasing the heat transfer area by

arrangement of half pipe coils inside

by increasing the differential

temperature between inside reactor and

jacket, e.g. using chilled water

by improving the heat-transition coef-

ficient, e.g. using a thinner wall between

inside reactor and cooling water

by adding an external condenser

Step by step Vinnolit has realised all

requirements for a high-performance poly-

merisation reactor. The inner cooler reactor

was developed as a last link in the optimi-

sation. This completely new reactor design

has been created and improved by Vinnolit

engineers. The inner cooler reactor has

demonstrated its outstanding suitability for

the production of suspension PVC on an

industrial scale for many years and is

therefore a proven design.

In view of Vinnolit’s inner cooler reactor,

the choice was made for a combination of:

Increased heat transfer area due to the

half-pipe coil on the inner reactor wall

Improved heat-transition coefficient due

to the reduced thickness of the half-pipe


Increased heat transfer due to

higher turbulences at the wall.

This design combines high heat transfer

rate with safe operation in a closed mode.

Of course the other internal components of

the inner cooler reactor like the agitator,

baffles and nozzles are optimised as well to

apply the reactor technology in the same

way as in Vinnolit’s conventional reactors.

The essential advantages of the Vinnolit

High-Performance Reactor are:

High output of up to 600 mt/m3/year

- Very short non-reaction time

- Very short reaction time

High quality of product grades

- Use of the Vinnolit recipes

- Wide range of licensed grades

- Heat dissipation only in the liquid phase

as in a conventional reactor

Large reactor Volumes of up to 160 m3


- Low investment costs

- Low maintenance costs

Large heat transfer area and high heat-

transition coefficient, providing a cooling

capacity twice that of a conventional reac-

tor; therefore no additional cooling area

(such as a reflux condenser) is required

Very simple and safe operation

- Closed and clean reactor technology:

using the Vinnolit anti-fouling tech-

nology dispenses with high-pressure

cleaning or reactor opening

- Automatic catalyst charging

- Simultaneous charging of hot

water and VCM

- No heating up by means of a heating


Low operating costs because of

- Adapted recipes

- Use of cooling water instead of chilled


1 8

3.3 The Vinnolit High-Performance Reactor for suspension PVC

Heat transfer graph (typical) Heat transfer graph (typical)

of conventional reactor cooling of Vinnolit’s High-Performance Reactor

A Cooling channel

C PVC-suspension

B Cladded steel wall

D Half-pipe wall

E Cooling coil



Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (20)

Ultrafiltration unit for waste water in an S-PVC plant


Suspension PVC is produced in an aqueous

process. Approx. 2.3 m3 of precious water

are used in a conventional process per ton

of PVC. Up to now this water could only be

used for flushing purposes, but the demand

for flush water in the downstream units is

small compared with the water demand for

polymerisation. So the water is usually after

treatment in a biological waste water

treatment discharged to a recipient.

Re-use of the waste water in the poly-

merisation was so far inhibited by quality

problems caused by the residual PVC solid

content. But today the required purity can

be achieved by a tailor-made special filtra-

tion process.


Ultrafiltration is employed to remove any

solids from the decantation waste water.

Ceramic membranes compatible with the

other ingredients in the waste water are

used in that process. The PVC contami-

nated waste water from the decantation

centrifuge is treated in the special filtration

unit. The treated water is free of PVC solids

and is recycled into the polymerization pro-

cess in order to reduce the consumption of

fresh de-mineralized water and at the same

time the amount of waste water. The flux

through the membranes can be preserved

on an acceptable level by regular cleaning

operations for at least 1 year.


Reduction of fresh water consumption

to approx. 1.4 m3/t PVC (pipe grade)

Reduction of waste water

Proven in production scale for pipe grade

Re-use of waste water in the

suspension PVC process


1 9

3.4 Waste Water Recycling

VC Recycling




Drying PVC


Drying PVC

PVC solid

H20 vapor



H20 Reuse



Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (21)

2 0

3.5 Products and applications

K value Viscosity


ISO 1628/2 ISO 1628/2




DIN 53468

Screen analysis

< 63 µm > 250µm

DIN 53734

> 315 µm



DIN 53417

57 80 600 2 % < 1 % < 0.1 % low

60 89 570 2 % < 1 % < 0.1 % medium

65 105 580 1 % < 5 % < 0.1 % medium

67 112 570 1 % < 5 % < 0.1 % medium

68 116 570 1 % < 5 % < 0.1 % medium

65 124 510 5 % < 1 %


70 124 480 5 % < 1 %


75 145 470 5 % < 1 % < 0.1 % high For further product information please

refer to Vinnolit’s website:


Test method

Injection-moulded articles, rigid film, hollow articles

Rigid film, injection-moulded articles, plates, bristles

Rigid and semi-rigid sections

Rigid pipes and sections

Rigid pipes and sections

Plasticised film, sections and flexible tubing

Plasticised film, sections, injection-moulded articles, cable

Platicised film and profiles, medical articles

S-PVC, in particular, can be

produced in both a crystal clear, hard

and a very soft flexible finished form,

with good electrical properties. Only

the major applications of the different

basic types are listed as follows:

Coarse-grained, porous, free-

flowing S-types with a high bulk

density for rigid and semi-rigid

extrusion (pipes, sections, plates),

bubble extrusion (hollow items) and

injection moulding, low-fish-eye S-

types for the calendering of rigid and

semi-rigid film, the production of

PVC bristles and deep-drawable

rigid film.

Coarse-grained, highly porous,

free-flowing plasticiser S-types for

dry blend production, free-flowing

plasticised PVC mix for low-fish-

eye extrudates and film, for cable

sheaths and hoses.

Probably no other plastic can match the wide variety of possible uses offered by PVC.

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (22)

2 1

4. References

Completion Customer Plant Site Product Plant Capacity mtpy

Selected references of EDC and VCM plants

2021 EPC Alexandria, Egypt VCM 125,000

2021 PT. Sulfindo Adiusaha Banten, Indonesia EDC, Oxychlorination VCM

200,000 250,000

2018 PT Asahimas Chemical Cilegon, Indonesia EDC, Oxychlorination 243,000

2018 BorsodChem Borsod, Hungary EDC, Oxychlorination 292,000

2015 Sayanskchimplast Sayansk, Russia VCM 350,000

2014 Qatar Vinyl Co. (QVC) Mesaieed, Qatar EDC (Expansion) 470,000

2014 Mexichem SA de CV Coatzacoalcos, EDC, Direct Chlorination 460,000

Mexico EDC, Oxychlorination 480,000

VCM, EDC Cracking 600,000

2013 Petroquímica de Maracaibo, Venezuela EDC (Expansion) 155,000

Venezuela VCM (Expansion)

2010 S.N.E.P. Morocco EDC Direct chlorination, 115,000

EDC, Oxychlorination 112,000

2010 Sayanskchimplast Russia VCM, EDC Cracking 200,000

2009 Undisclosed Middle East EDC, Direct chlorination 551,000

EDC, Oxychlorination 332,000

(Sales EDC) 329,000

VCM, EDC Cracking 343,000

2008 Formosa Plastics Corp. USA EDC Cracking 240,000

2007 Sahara Petrochemical Co. KSA EDC Direct chlorination 300,000

(Basic engineering

implementation pending)

2009 Vinnolit GmbH & Co. Middle East EDC Direct chlorination 660,000

EDC, Oxychlorination 1,300,000

Sales EDC 100,000

VCM 1,020,000

2008 Tokuyama Corp. Japan EDC, Direct chlorination 200,000

(Basic engineering for feasibility study)

2007 Liwa Petrochemical Sohar, Oman EDC, Direct chlorination 307,000

Company LLC

2006 Limburgse Vinyl Tessenderlo, Belgium EDC, Direct chlorination 250,000

Maatschappij (LVM)

2005 Sasol Polymers Sasolburg, South Africa EDC, Direct chlorination 168,000

EDC, Oxychlorination 160,000

VCM, EDC Cracking 205,000


2005 VESTOLIT GmbH Marl Germany VCM, EDC Cracking 190,000


2004 Sinopec International / Zibo, Shandong, China EDC, Direct chlorination 330,000

Qilu Petrochemical Co. EDC, Oxychlorination 315,000

VCM, EDC Cracking 400,000

2004 BorsodChem Rt. Kazincbarcika, Hungary EDC, Oxychlorination 225,000


2004 Shanghai Chlor Shanghai, China VCM, EDC Cracking 130,000

Alkali Chemical Co. (Expansion)

2003 Petkim Petrokimya Aliaga/Izmir, Turkey EDC, Direct chlorination 136,000

Holding VCM, EDC Cracking 152,000

2002 Vinnolit GmbH & Co. KG Knapsack, Germany EDC, Oxychlorination 170,000

VCM, EDC Cracking 330,000

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (23)

Completion Customer Plant Site Product Plant Capacity mtpy

Selected references of PVC plants

2013 Petroquímica de


Maracaibo, Venezuela S-PVC (Expansion) 48,000

2010 Lukoil Neftochim JSC Kalush, Ukraine S-PVC, Polymerisation

S-PVC, Degasing

S-PVC, Cyclone drier


2009 S.N.E.P. Morocco S-PVC, Cyclone drier 85,000

2009 Ercros Spain S-PVC, Polymerisation 120,000

2008 Spolana A.S. Czech Republic S-PVC, Cyclone drier 2 x 100,000

2007 Braskem Brasil S-PVC, Polymerisation 130,000

2007 Undisclosed USA S-PVC, Polymerisation 250,000

2006 Undisclosed Middle East S-PVC

PVC-E 300,000


2002 Zaklady Azotowe w


Tarnow, Poland S-PVC 100,000

2001 Royal Polymer Ltd. Sarnia, Canada S-PVC, Cyclone drier 80,000

1997 S.N.E.P. Morocco S-PVC, Cyclone drier 52,000

1996 Hydro Polymers Ltd. Newton Aycliffe, UK S-PVC, Cyclone drier 92,000

1996 Georgia Gulf Corp.

(former Vista Chemical


Aberdeen, MS, USA S-PVC, Cyclone drier 110,000

2 2

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (24)

Chemical and Process Technologies

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG

Friedrich-Uhde-Strasse 15

44141 Dortmund, Germany

P: +49 231 547-0

F: +49 231 547-3032

Vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride - [PDF Document] (2024)


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