Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Alex Volinsky


catalyst, dichloroethane, organic chloride wastes, oxichlorination, trichloroethne, Vinyl Chloride


Recently, because of the increase of environmental concerns in process design, the need to enhance conversion to product and prevent generation of wasteful byproducts in the reactor network has become urgent. This prevents high cost treatment and separation costs downstream in the process. Therefore, in this thesis I focus on making production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) more efficient and on possible ways of industrial organochlorine waste (OCW) recycling. In particular, in the first experiment, we investigate how catalyst and its structure can affect product output.

Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis were utilized to investigate the structure of the γ-Al2O3 carrier with CuCl2 catalyst on its surface. Structure of the two catalysts, HarshowX1 and MEDC-B, and their effect on the mechanism of ethylene oxidative chlorination reaction into 1,2-dichlorethane were studied. Differential thermal analysis and mass spectroscopy were applied to study the structure and the mechanism differences between the deposited and permeated CuCl2 catalysts.

The second experiment deals with ecological processing and recycling methods of wasteful byproduct that can be called chlororganic wastes. Typical waste products are 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, vinylidene, and vinyl chloride monomer. Polymerization and copolymerization of typical waste products with their C5-C9 fraction resulted in non-toxic polymer products that can be used in construction and road-building industries. The possibility of joint chlorine and sulfide-containing chemical wastes recycling into polysulfide oligomeric products is discussed. This comprehensive recycling allows utilizing 80-90% of all wastes generated during synthesis of chlorinated products in the chemical industry.

The results of the studies aim to improve the conversion of ethylene to vinyl chloride and minimize the formation of byproducts.