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What is acrylonitrile?

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Acrylonitrile also is known as AN or vinyl cyanide. It is known to be one of the basic raw materials for the production of plastics and composites. This chemical is a highly volatile organic liquid that has a very pungent smell. On a commercial scale, acrylonitrile is manufactured by the process of catalytic oxidation of propylene using ammonia as a catalyst. Since acrylonitrile is a petrochemical derivative, hence its market is highly driven by the fluctuating prices of petroleum and oil. This flammable liquid is colorless in nature and is considered extremely toxic for human health and the environment. This chemical needs to be stored under controlled conditions because it is highly reactive with oxidizers, copper, strong acids and bases.

A wide range of chemicals uses acrylonitrile as their raw materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile resins (SAR), acrylic fibers, acrylamide, nitrile rubber, adiponitrile, and carbon fibers. In the textile industry, acrylic fibers are another important product that is manufactured using acrylonitrile which is further used to make end products like carpets, clothes, fabrics, glove, boot, tracksuit, upholstery, furnishing fabric, rug and packaging materials. Various other industries such as automotive, electrical & electronics, construction, packaging, pharmaceuticals, textile, wastewater treatment, etc also use acrylonitrile as their raw material.

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