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Technology Profile: Production of Vinyl Acetate

By Intratec Solutions |

Vinyl acetate (also known as vinyl acetate monomer; VAM) is important in the manufacture of many polymers and resins. The greatest demand for vinyl acetate is associated with the production of polymers and copolymers, mainly poly(vinyl acetates) used in papermaking, textiles, sealants, binders and coatings; ethylene vinyl acetate, used as a film, in hot-melt coatings and adhesives; as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) alternative; and ethylene-vinyl alcohol, used in food packing and medical applications. VAM is a colorless liquid with a sweet, fruity smell, soluble in most organic solvents, but only slightly soluble in water. On an industrial scale, the dominant production route of vinyl acetate is based on the reaction of ethylene with acetic acid and oxygen in the gas phase over heterogeneous catalysts that contain palladium. The main grades of vinyl acetate are technical grade; grade A (99.8%, diphenylamine inhibited); and grade H (99.8%, hydroquinone inhibited). Production process The production of VAM from acetic acid and ethylene (Figure 1) comprises three major sections: (1) reaction; (2) separation; and (3) purification. FIGURE 1. The diagram shows the process for manufacturing vinyl acetate monomer from acetic acid and ethylene[/caption] …
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