Problem: Most organic polymers are named based on the monomers used in their production. However, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is NOT made from vinyl alcohol, but instead from vinyl acetate that is hydrolyzed after formation of the polymer. Why can't we use vinyl alcohol in this polymerization? Draw the structure of vinyl alcohol.

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FREE Expert Solution

We are asked why can't we use vinyl alcohol in this polymerization and draw the structure of vinyl alcohol. 


Polymers are used to form plastics and other synthetic materials.

  • These radical reactions use alkenes to link millions of repeating units together through an almost never-ending propagation step.
  • This means we need the double bond in order to polymerize. 


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Problem Details

Most organic polymers are named based on the monomers used in their production. However, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is NOT made from vinyl alcohol, but instead from vinyl acetate that is hydrolyzed after formation of the polymer. Why can't we use vinyl alcohol in this polymerization? Draw the structure of vinyl alcohol.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Tautomerization concept. You can view video lessons to learn Tautomerization. Or if you need more Tautomerization practice, you can also practice Tautomerization practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Guo's class at UF.