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Acetonitrile

Acetonitrile is a chemical compound with formula CH3CN. This colourless liquid is the simplest organic nitrile. This liquid has an odour of aromatic, ether-like. The toxicity of acetonitrile is relatively low, compared to hydrogen cyanide or acrylonitrile. It is produced mainly as a byproduct from the manufacture of acrylonitrile. It is mainly used as a polar aprotic solvent in purification of butadiene. In the laboratory, it is used as a medium-polarity solvent that is miscible with water and has a convenient liquid range. With a dipole moment of 3.84 D, acetonitrile dissolves a wide range of ionic and nonpolar compounds and is useful as a mobile phase in HPLC and LCMS. Acetonitrile is a good solvent, since it’s fairly powerful at dissolving things with a reasonable low-boiling point. Acetonitrile or water mixtures are ubiquitous in analytical and prep-sized chromatography systems. A lot of acetonitrile comes as a byproduct of acrylonitrile production, which is used in a lot of industrial resins and plastics. It is widely used in battery applications because of its relatively high dielectric constant and ability to dissolve electrolytes. For similar reasons it is a popular solvent in cyclic voltammetry. Its low viscosity and low chemical reactivity make it a popular choice for liquid chromatography. Acetonitrile plays a significant role as the dominant solvent used in the manufacture of DNA oligonucleotides from monomers. Industrially, it is used as a solvent for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, photographic film and in some testing procedures. Acetonitrile is produced as coproduct in the production of acrylonitrile by propylene ammoxidation – Sohio Process. The dominant route for the production of acrylonitrile is the one-step propylene ammoxidation process that replaces the original acetylene-based technology. Propylene, ammonia and air are reacted in a fluidised bed reactor to produce ACN with acetonitrile and hydrogen cyanide as by- products. Acetonitrile is produced as crude product.Acetonitrile is commercially available in the following grades that are chemical grade, reagent grade, and high purity grade. All producers of acrylonitrile by ammoxidation of propylene also produce acetonitrile as co-product. An acrylonitrile plant yields 2 to 4 litres of acetonitrile for every 100 litres of acrylonitrile produced. Only a few of the acrylonitrile producers effectively isolate and refine acetonitrile at their own facility for sale to the merchant market. Acetonitrile is also produced by organic synthesis. The demand for acetonitrile would be driven by its application in the organic synthesis and as solvent in the pharmaceutical industry. The global production of acetonitrile is around 73,500 tonnes per annum. In India, acetonitrile is produced by Reliance Industries as co product in the production of acrylonitrile. The Indian demand for acetonitrile is largely met by imports. The present import of acetonitrile is around 7500 tonnes per annum. Global Producer Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, Kanagawa, Japan Reliance Industries Ltd, India Qilu Petrochemical Corporation, China Dalian Synco Chemical Co. Ltd., China Ineos Nitriles, Green Lake, Texas, USA Shanghai Secco Petrochemical Co., Ltd, Shanghai, China There is a great scope and market potential for this product and capacity addition can be created in India owing to its high demand.
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