Polyvinyl Alcohol

Polyvinyl alcohol is a white, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble, non-toxic granular powder. It is a synthetic polymer. Its molecular formulas is (C2H4O)x. Its idealized formula is [CH₂CH]. Polyvinyl alcohol is used in papermaking, textiles, and a variety of coatings. Sometimes it is supplied as beads or as solutions in water.

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The primary use for polyvinyl alcohol in the U.S. and Western Europe is for the preparation of polyvinyl butyral. Polyvinyl alcohol is also used in other parts of the world as an emulsion polymerization aid, as protective colloid, to make polyvinyl acetate dispersions, and in the production of vinylon.

PVA is prepared by polymerizing vinyl acetate, followed by converting the resulting polyvinylacetate to the PVA. It is not known to occur as a natural product.

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