Acetonitrile is the chemical compound with the formula CH
3CN. This colourless liquid is the simplest organic nitrile (hydrogen cyanide is a simpler nitrile, but the cyanide anion is not classed as organic). It is produced mainly as a byproduct of acrylonitrile manufacture. It is used as a polar aprotic solvent in organic synthesis and in the purification of butadiene.
1. Acetonitrile is primarily used as an extraction solvent for butadiene
2. It is used as a chemical intermediate in pesticide manufacturing; and as a solvent for both inorganic and organic compounds
3. It is also included as a starting material for the production of acetophenone, alpha-naphthalenacetic acid, thiamine, and acetamidine; to remove tars, phenols, and coloring matter from petroleum hydrocarbons not soluble in Acetonitrile
4. In the laboratory, acetone is used as a polar aprotic solvent in a variety of organic reactions, such as SN2 reactions. The use of acetone solvent is also critical for the Jones oxidation. It is a common solvent for rinsing laboratory glassware because of its low cost and volatility, however, it does not form an azeotrope with water
5. It is used in the production of acrylic fibers; and in pharmaceuticals, perfumes, nitrile rubber, and ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) resins