ACRYLONITRILE, THE MONOMER
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The synthesis of the monomer Acrylonitrile was first reported by the French chemist Charles Moureu (1863-1929) in 1893.
Currently the acrylonitrile monomer is obtained by the catalytic ammoxidation of propylene (obtained from the cracking of petroleum) by the process that was developed by Standard Oil of Ohio and therefore was named SOHIO.
Its worldwide production is approximately 5 million tons per year, and besides being used in the manufacture of acrylic fibers responding for almost 50% of consumption, it is used in the production of ABS plastic (acrylonitrile-butanodiene-styrene) widely used in electronic equipment. It is also used in the production of polyacrylamide, used as a flocculating agent in water treatment.
Adiponitrile, an intermediate in the manufacture of Nylon 6.6, is produced from acrylonitrile.
Resistant to organic solvents such as gasoline, lubricants and heat-absorbing oils, known as Nitrile Rubbers, use acrylonitrile in manufacturing.