Trade Article

Petrochemicals and the Chlor-Alkali Process

Dec. 18, 2020

Performance plastics are made from petrochemicals, which is a broad term for chemicals made from petroleum, fossil fuels, or sometimes renewable sources like corn or sugarcane. PVC plastic—or polyvinyl, number four on our list of chlor-alkali chemicals—is a petrochemical performance plastic.

PVC is made through a series of chemical reactions, one of which requires the chlor-alkali process. It starts with chlorine, which is reacted with ethylene. Ethylene, found in natural gas and crude oil, is what makes PVC a petrochemical.

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