Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 107131
CASRN 107-13-1
Vinyl cyanide
Analytical Methods EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 603
EPA Method 8030
EPA Method 8031
EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC3H3N

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use IN THE PLASTICS, SURFACE COATINGS, & ADHESIVES INDUSTRIES. AS CHEM INT IN SYNTHESIS OF ANTIOXIDANTS, PHARMACEUTICALS, DYES, SURFACE-ACTIVE AGENTS, EXTRA. IN ORG SYNTH TO INTRODUCE CYANOETHYL GROUP. AS MODIFIER FOR NATURAL POLYMERS; AS A PESTICIDE FUMIGANT FOR STORED GRAIN SRP: FORMER USE IN CO-POLYMERS WITH STYRENE & BUTADIENE; SYNTHETIC SOIL BLOCKS; CYANOETHYLATION OF COTTON; BOTTLES FOR SOFT DRINKS SRP: DISCONTINUED BY FDA COMONOMER FOR BARRIER RESINS COMONOMER WITH STYRENE FOR URETHANE POLYETHER POLYOLS COMONOMER FOR ALKYD/ACRYLONITRILE COPOLYMERS Monomer for acrylic and modacrylic fibers and high-strength whiskers; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer and acrylonitrile styrene copolymers; nitrile rubber; cyanoethylation of cotton; synthetic soil blocks (acrylonitrile polymerized in wood pulp); organic synthesis; adiponitrile; grain fumigant; monomer for a semiconductive polymer that can be used like inorganic oxide catalysts in dehydrogenation of tert-butanol to isobutylene and water.
Consumption Patterns COMONOMER FOR ACRYLIC & MODACRYLIC FIBERS, 51%; COMONOMER FOR ACRYLONITRILE-BUTADIENE-STYRENE RESINS, 18%; CHEM INT FOR ADIPONITRILE, 13%; CHEM INT FOR ACRYLAMIDE, 6%; COMONOMER FOR NITRILE ELASTOMERS, 3%; COMONOMER FOR STYRENE-ACRYLONITRILE RESINS, 2%; OTHER USES, 7% (1983) In 1976, 282 million kg were used to make acrylic and modacrylic fibers. Acrylic & modacrylic fibers, 45%; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer resins, 20%; styrene acrylonitrile polymer resins, 9%; adiponitrile, 13%; acrylamide, 6%; miscellaneous, 7% (1984) CHEMICAL PROFILE: Acrylonitrile. Exports, 43%; acrylic and modacrylic fibers, 28%; acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene and styrene-acrylonitrile resins, 15%; adiponitrile, 7%; acrylamide, 4%; miscellaneous, including nitrile rubber and barrier resins, 3%. CHEMICAL PROFILE: Acrylonitrile. Demand: 1988: 2.580 million lb; 1989: 2.660 million lb; 1993 projected/: 3.025 million lb. (Includes exports but not imports, which are negligible.)
Boiling Point 77.3 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
Melting Point -82 DEG C
Molecular Weight 53.06
Density 0.8004 @ 25 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration 21.4 PPM Detection of acrylonitrile in water is 1.86x10 1 ppm; chemically pure Low= 8.1000 mg/cu m; High= 78.7500 mg/cu m
Sensitivity Data Immediately irritating to the eye. ACRYLONITRILE SPILLED ON HUMAN SKIN RESULTS IN ERYTHEMA & BLISTERS.
Environmental Impact Acrylonitrile is an important industrial chemical used in the production of acrylic and modacrylic fibers and other important chemicals and resins and is released as fugitive emissions and in wastewater during its production and use. More general sources such as auto exhaust, cigarette smoke and release from fibers and plastics have been identified but their importance has not been evaluated. When released to the atmosphere, it will degrade primarily by reacting with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. The half-life for this process will be 3.5 sunlit days under relatively clean atmospheric conditions to somewhat over a day with smog. Therefore there would be opportunity for dispersal from source areas. If released in wastewater, acrylonitrile will slowly evaporate (half-life 1-6 days) and also biodegrade (complete degradation in approx 1 week in receiving water in which microorganisms would be acclimated). If spilled on land, it will volatilize fairly rapidly due to its relatively high Henry's Law constant and low adsorption to soil. Some acrylonitrile would leach into the ground where its fate is unknown. Humans are exposed to acrylonitrile primarily in the workplace via inhalation and possibly dermal contact. There is a potential for the general public to be exposed to acrylonitrile in the air from its dispersal from source areas, outgassing from acrylic fibers, auto exhaust and cigarette smoke as well as via ingestion from food which is in contact with plastic containers where acrylonitrile monomer has leached out.
Environmental Fate AQUATIC FATE: THERE IS RELATIVELY LITTLE INFORMATION ON THE MOVEMENT, FATE, & PERSISTENCE OF ACRYLONITRILE IN WATER. /INVESTIGATORS REPORTED THAT AT AN INITIAL CONCN OF 10 MG/L, ONLY 46% REMAINED AFTER 24 HR, 19% AFTER 48 HR, & 5% AFTER 96 HR. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Acrylonitrile contains a carbon-carbon double bond which should enhance its reactivity toward atmospheric photo-oxidation by hydroxyl radicals or other oxidants. Expected products include hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and formic acid. AQUATIC FATE: In aquatic environments, water would react with acrylonitrile to produce 3-hydroxypropionitrile and bis(2-cyanoethyl)ether in the presence of a catalyst, ie clay surfaces. TERRESTRIAL FATE: In view of its high vapor pressure , relatively high Henry's Law constant , and poor adsorption to soil acrylonitrile will evaporate fairly rapidly if spilled on land. Because it is so poorly adsorbed to soil, it may also leach. AQUATIC FATE: If released into water, acrylonitrile will probably slowly biodegrade. In two river die-away studies, biodegradation was complete in 6 and 20 days(1-2). Volatilization would also occur with expected half-lives of 1-6 days in environmental waters. In water with high organic content, photooxidation by radicals may occur but data in natural systems are not available. Adsorption to sediment or particulate matter and bioconcentrations in aquatic organisms will be insignificant. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: If released to the atmosphere, acrylonitrile will degrade by reaction with hydroxyl radicals with a reaction half-life of 3.5 12-hr sunlit days . This would be reduced considerably under smog conditions . Since it is relatively long-lived in the atmosphere, considerable dispersion would be expected to occur. Reaction with ozone is probably not a significant reaction in relation to hydroxyl radicals.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: Detected, not quantified in one or more water supplies in a 5 city survey of US drinking water with known sources of contamination . SURFACE WATER: US-914 STORET (EPA's Water Quality Data Base) stations - 5% of samples had detectable quantities of acrylonitrile . GROUNDWATER: Screening of 1174 community wells and 617 private wells in Wisconsin during the early 1980's did not detect any acrylonitrile . EFFL: Acrylonitrile was present in effluent discharged from chemical, latex manufacturing, and was detected at 0.1 g/l in effluent discharged from an acrylic fiber-manufacturing plants in the USA. 1278 STORET (EPA Water quality data base) stations 1.6% of samples had detectable quantities of acrylonitrile . Detected in the treated wastewater from the following industries (mean concn): iron and steel manufacturing (1600 ppb), foundries (23 ppb), organic chemicals/plastics manufacture (93 ppb), and rubber processing (10 ppb) . Rio Blanco-CO-Oil shale retort outgas 0.5-2 ppm . US acrylic fiber mfg plant 0.1 g/l . Louisville, KY - chemical and latex manufacturing plant - detected, not quantified .

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