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Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 78977
CASRN 78-97-7
SynonymsLactonitrile
Propionitrile, 2-hydroxy-
2-Hydroxypropionitrile
Analytical Methods EPA Method 8260
Molecular FormulaC3H5NO

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

Use SOLVENT; INTERMEDIATE IN PRODUCTION OF ETHYL ACETATE & LACTIC ACID
Apparent Color YELLOW LIQUID; STRAW-COLORED LIQ
Boiling Point 102 DEG C @ 30 MM HG
Melting Point -40 DEG C
Molecular Weight 71.1
Density 0.9877 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Sensitivity Data Immediately irritating to the eye. Cyanides CONSIDERED TO BE EXTREMELY TOXIC BY INGESTION SKIN ABSORPTION, & EYE CONTACT.
Environmental Impact If released to the atmosphere, 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is expected to exist almost entirely in the vapor-phase where it will degrade relatively slowly (estimated half-life of 14.7 days) via reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. Since 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is miscible in water, physical removal from air by wet deposition is likely to occur. If released to soil or water, microbial degradation may be an important removal process. One screening study has demonstrated that 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is readily biodegradable in Ohio River water. 2-Hydroxypropanenitrile is known to be unstable at high pHs; it reacts with alkali to form HCN. However, reaction rates in alkaline soil or natural water are not available. Leaching in soil is possible. Occupational exposure to 2-hydroxypropanenitrile can occur through inhalation of vapor and dermal contact. There are no data available to suggest that the general population is exposed to 2-hydroxypropanenitrile.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: One screening study has demonstrated that 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is readily biodegradable in Ohio River water . Based on this study, microbial degradation in soil is likely to be an important removal mechanism. Insufficient data are available to predict the importance of other degradation processes in soil. 2-Hydroxypropanenitrile will degrade in alkaline media yielding HCN(2,3); however, the rate of degradation at environmental pHs is not known. 2-Hydroxypropanenitrile is miscible in water which suggests that leaching in soil is likely to occur. AQUATIC FATE: One screening study has demonstrated that 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is readily biodegradable in Ohio River water . Insufficient data are available to predict the importance of other degradation processes in water. 2-Hydroxypropanenitrile will degrade in alkaline media(2,3); however, the rate of degradation at environmental pHs is not known. Aquatic bioconcentration, volatilization, and adsorption to sediment are not expected to be environmentally important. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: Using measured vapor pressures of 17 mm Hg at 90 deg C and 30 mm Hg at 102 deg C , the vapor pressure of 2-hydroxypropanenitrile can be extrapolated to 0.28 mm Hg at 25 deg C using the Antoine relationship. Based upon this vapor pressure, 2-hydroxypropanenitrile is expected to exist almost entirely in the vapor-phase in the ambient atmosphere(2,SRC). It is expected to degrade in an average ambient atmosphere by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals with an estimated half-life of about 14.7 days(3,SRC). Physical removal via wet deposition is likely since it is very soluble in water.

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