Cas Number


Other Names




Vinyl cyanide (VCN)



The formula



Acrylonitrile is an organic compound with the formula CH2CHCN. It is a colorless volatile liquid, although commercial samples can be yellow due to impurities. In terms of its molecular structure, it consists of a vinyl group linked to a nitrile. It is an important monomer for the manufacture of useful plastics such as polyacrylonitrile.

Physical and Chemical Properties
Physical state and appearance Liquid.
Odor Mild Peach kernels. (Slight.)
Molecular Weight 53.06 g/mole
Color Clear Colorless
Boiling Point 77.3°C (171.1°F)
Critical Temperature 262.78°C (505°F)
Flash point 84 °C
Melting Point -82°C (-115.6°F)
Specific Gravity 0.806(Water = 1)
Vapor Pressure 11.1 kPa (@ 20°C)
Vapor Density 1.8 (Air = 1)
Water/Oil Dist. Coeff: The product is more soluble in oil; log(oil/water) = 0.3
Dispersion Properties See solubility in water, diethyl ether, acetone
Solubility Soluble in diethyl ether, acetone. Very slightly soluble in cold water, hot water. Soluble in all common organic substances and Isopropyl alcohol. Soluble in benzene and alcohol
Acetone, ppm/wt ≤200
Acetonitrile, ppm/wt ≤300
Propionitrile, ppm/wt ≤200
Acrolein, ppm/wt ≤20
Acidity as acetic acid, ppm/wt ≤35
Aaldehydes as acetaldehyde, ppm/wt ≤50
Copper, ppm/wt ≤0.2
HCN, ppm/wt ≤10
Inhibitor, ppm/wt(no nitrites) 35-45
Iron, ppm /wt ≤0.2
Peroxides, ppm/wt, (no nitrites). ≤0.5
ph (5% aqueous solution) 6-9.0
Refractive index (at 25°c) 1.3883-1.3892
Water, wt% ≤0.5
Distillation, (760 mmhg) °c 74.5-79
Non-vol. matter, ppm/wt ≤50
Oxygen bomb stability, (hrs) ≤4
Purity (wt%) ≤99.5

1. Acrylonitrile is used principally as a monomer to prepare the polyacrylonitrile, a homopolymer, or several important copolymers such as styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) and other synthetic rubbers such as acrylonitrile butadiene (NBR). Dimerization of acrylonitrile affords adiponitrile, used in the synthesis of certain polyamides. Small amounts are also used as a fumigant

2. Acrylonitrile and derivatives such as 2-chloro-acrylonitrile are dienophiles in Diels-Alder reactions

3. Acrylonitrile is also a precursor in the industrial manufacture of acrylamide and acrylic acid