2 min read
Published on:October 9th, 2021

Polyvinyl alcohol

Polyvinyl alcohol is a chemical compound with the molecular formula [CH2CH(OH)n] which is abbreviated as PVOH or PVA. It is also known by various names such as poly ethenol, homopolymer, polyviol, vinol and alcotex. Polyvinyl alcohol has a very attractive property and that is its biodegradability. It is a water-soluble synthetic polymer in the form of a white, odorless powder, which can be handled safely and is environmentally friendly and decomposes at 230 ° C. The most important application of this chemical is suspending agent in Polyvinylchloride synthesis.

 Figure (1) shows the molecular structure of polyvinyl alcohol.


Fig (1): Molecular structure of polyvinyl alcohol

Currently, Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe are the largest producers of polyvinyl alcohol. Asia has the largest production capacity of PVA and its sales market is concentrated in China. Figure (2) shows the global distribution of demand for polyvinyl alcohol.


Fig (2): the global distribution of polyvinyl alcohol demand


Some of the leading companies in the production or distribution of polyvinyl alcohol are:

  • Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • EI du Pont de Nemours and Company
  • Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd
  • Kuraray Co
  • Anhui Wanwei Group Co
  • Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon


Side effects and safety of polyvinyl alcohol

If the substance comes in contact with the skin, the contact area should be washed with soap and water, and if the irritation is severe, a doctor should be consulted.

If a person inhales this substance, the poisoned person should be taken to the open air and in case of shortness of breath, an oxygen device should be used to reach the medical center.

In case of contact with eyes, if the lens is inside the eye, it should be removed and immediately rinse the eyes with cold water for 15 minutes and see a doctor.