Ethene reacts with hydrogen chloride to form a monomer used in the production of a polymer. This monomer is chloroethene.

My questions are:

(1) How is the polymer formed from the monomer?


(2) Is this an addition or a condensation polymerization?

  • $\begingroup$ First, I have said that the polymer formed is polyvinylchloride by an addition polymerization where 2 H molecules are eliminated in the process $\endgroup$ – user225430 Aug 17 '15 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ You should start by drawing the structures of the reactants and then think about what functional groups are present and how they might change if they are joined. $\endgroup$ – Cohen_the_Librarian Aug 17 '15 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried that. And as i know in an addition polymerization reaction, H-X are eliminated, so here can i suppose that H and Cl will be eliminated and the monomer formed is ethylene(ethene)? $\endgroup$ – user225430 Aug 17 '15 at 21:42

You got it wrong - monomer is chloroethene (vinyl chloride) and nothing is eliminated in addition polymerization in contrary to polycondensation. This monomer is made via addition of chlorine molecule to ethene and elimination of hydrogen chloride. Alternative methods are addition of hydrogen chloride to acetylene or oxychlorination - in this reaction $\ce{HCl}$ and $\ce{O2}$ react with ethylene to form the monomer and water.

  • $\begingroup$ But how is a chlorine molecule added? $\endgroup$ – user225430 Aug 17 '15 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ Huh? Simple electrophilic addition reaction. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 17 '15 at 22:51

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