10 December 2021 Bulletin

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Acrylonitrile is the chemical compound with the formula C3H3N. This pungent-smelling colourless liquid often appears yellow due to impurities. It is an important monomer for the manufacture of useful plastics. In terms of its molecular structure, it consists of a vinyl group linked to a nitrile. [1] Acrylonitrile is soluble in water and most common organic solvents such as acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, ethyl acetate, and toluene. It is a reactive chemical that polymerises spontaneously when heated, or in the presence of a strong alkali, and can explode when exposed to flame. Technical grade acrylonitrile is more than 99% pure and always contains a polymerisation inhibitor, usually methylhydroquinone. It is incompatible and reactive with strong oxidisers, acids and alkalis; bromine; and amines. It attacks copper. [2]

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