- 62.5 g/mol
- Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)
Compound properties list
|Melting/boiling point|| -154 °C / 13 °C||Gas|
|Relative density||0.91 g/cm3||Floats on water|
|Vapour pressure||2,500 mm Hg||Extremely volatile|
|Vapour density||2.2||Denser than air|
|Solubility in water||1,000 mg/L||Low solubility|
|Henry's law constant||1 x 100 atm·m3/mol||Rapid volatilization when dissolved|
|log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)||Weak adsorption to organic matter|
At 20 0C, vinyl chloride is a gas that is easily liquefied under pressure and is both
stored and transported in its liquid form. When liquid, it floats on water and is extremely
volatile. Low to moderately soluble, it rapidly volatilizes when dissolved and only binds weakly to
organic matter. During a spill of liquefied vinyl chloride, the majority of the product will
volatilize but can also enter into the soil or drain into a waterway. Once it encounters water
(surface or subsurface), vinyl chloride will primarily volatilize, or dissolve followed
volatilization. The adsorbed product resulting from a spill will disappear rapidly in its gaseous
state and only a small portion will dissolve. The resulting gaseous and dissolved plumes will be
relatively large in size in sols.
Vinyl chloride should be handled with care as it is flammable and toxic.
Vinyl chloride is most often produced commercially in large amounts through the
chlorination of ethene to produce 1,2-dichloroethane. The 1,2-dichloroethane is then subjected to
thermal cracking which forms the vinyl chloride monomer and hydrogen chloride. Approximately 98% of
all vinyl chloride produced is used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials. PVC is widely
used in automotive parts, packaging products, pipes, construction materials, furniture and a variety
of other products. Other uses of vinyl chloride, which account for about 2% of total annual
production, include the production of 1,1,1-trichloroethane and copolymers with vinyl acetate, vinyl
sterate, and vinylidene chloride.
Most of the vinyl chloride that enters the environment comes from vinyl chloride manufacturing or
processing plants, when it is released into the air or wastewater. Vinyl chloride can also be formed
in the environment when other chlorinated substances, such as trichloroethylene, trichloroethane and
tetrachloroethylene, are broken down biologically or abiotically.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 2006. Toxicological
Profile for Vinyl Chloride. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service,
Georgia, USA. (Viewed December 2013)
Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC
Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.