Question Video: Determining the Monomer from the Acronym of the Polymer | Nagwa Question Video: Determining the Monomer from the Acronym of the Polymer | Nagwa

Question Video: Determining the Monomer from the Acronym of the Polymer Chemistry • Third Year of Secondary School

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Fill in the blank: PVC polymer is produced from the addition polymerization of _.

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Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. PVC polymer is produced from the addition polymerization of blank. (A) Tetrafluoroethene, (B) propylene, (C) ethylene, (D) chloroethene, or (E) polyvinyl chloride.

This question is asking about which monomer can join together to form a larger chain called a polymer. Monomers are atoms or groups of atoms that when reacted form a long chain of repeating units. And these long chains of repeating units are known as polymers.

There are two types of polymerization reactions. We have an addition polymerization reaction, where a polymer is formed from monomers without the formation of by-products. And there are condensation reactions, where the polymer is formed from monomers with the production of a small molecule by-product. This question however is asking us to identify the monomer that is used in an addition polymerization reaction to form PVC. So we know that there will be no small-molecule by-products formed in this reaction. This also tells us that the repeating unit of the polymer will look a lot like the starting material.

Now that we understand how a general addition reaction proceeds, let’s take a look at a more specific example. Under the right conditions, ethene monomers undergo addition polymerization to form polyethene. In this process, the double bond in the ethene monomers breaks, and new carbon–carbon single bonds are formed, joining the monomers together. This forms the polymer polyethene. It’s important to notice that the hydrogens are all still bonded to the same carbon, and they haven’t changed. This is because in the addition polymerization reaction of alkenes, only the double bond is reacting.

It is also important to note that the name of the product polyethene is similar to the monomer, the prefix poly- meaning that there are many ethene monomers that combined to form it.

Now if we look at the structure of PVC, or polyvinylchloride, we have replaced one of the hydrogens atoms from polyethylene with a chlorine atom. As we’ve already discussed, in addition polymerization reaction, only the double bond of the monomer is reacting. And so we should be able to deduce that the monomer of polyvinylchloride has one chlorine atom, three hydrogen atoms, and a carbon–carbon double bond. This gives us the monomer of chloroethene, also known as vinyl chloride. And with that, we should be able to revisit and answer the question.

Fill in the blank. PVC polymer is produced from the addition polymerization of blank. And the correct answer is (D) chloroethene.

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