2 min read Last modified on:August 23rd, 2021

Acrylonitrile (ACN)

Safety of acrylonitrile

This material is highly flammable and toxic. In fact, the polymerization of this substance can be accompanied by an explosion. The burnt material releases hydrogen cyanide vapor and nitrogen oxides. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has placed this substance in category B2 of carcinogens. Workers exposed to airborne acrylonitriles are more likely to develop lung cancer. The substance evaporates rapidly at room temperature or ℃20 and if its concentration is high, it can cause risks such as skin problems, difficulty breathing, eye allergies, which are rapid effects of this substance on humans.

Methods that humans may be infected with this substance are:

This toxin can be removed from the human body in two ways:

Method 1: During the metabolic process, this substance is combined with glutathione and then excreted.

Method 2: This substance is metabolized by 2-cyanoethylene oxide to produce cyanide, which eventually leads to the formation of thiocyanate and is then excreted from the body.

Applications of acrylonitrile

Figure (1) shows how acrylonitrile consumption will be distributed in different regions of the world in 2018.


Acrylonitrile (ACN)

Fig (1): distribute acrylonitrile consumption in different regions of the world in 2018


Acrylonitrile plays a key role in the production of carbon fibers required in the aerospace, defense, aerospace industries, as well as wind turbine blades. Acrylonitrile is also widely used in the production of elastomers or high performance rubber. Figure (2) also shows the value chain of acrylonitrile.


Figure (2): Acrylonitrile value chain Structural


Resins and plastics also fall into the same category, which are needed to convert existing vehicles into lightweight, fuel-efficient electric vehicles. In addition, acrylonitrile is an important and vital monomer for the production of water treatment coagulants. In addition to the above, this substance is widely used in food packaging such as processed meats, fish, cheese, sauces, condiments, jams and food extracts, as well as medical and pharmaceutical packaging.