A Kinetic Model for the Polymerization and Decomposition of Acrylonitrile

Acrylonitrile (AN) was first discovered in 1893 and copolymerized with butadiene during WW II to form oil resistant rubber for the military. When acrylonitrile polymerizes, the CH2=CH breaks releasing 17.3 kcal/gmol, making the reaction difficult to control. The polymer is not soluble in the monomer. Polymerization also occurs in the vapor phase. A conservative polymerization heat of reaction of -20 kcal/gmol (-35,977 BTU/lbmol) is predicted by breaking the C= bond to -C- (-377 cal/g or -678 BTU/lb). We conducted a total of 21 calorimetry tests, using the ARC and APTAC, to define the chemical reaction hazards. This study focused on obtaining a working kinetic model for AN polymerization in the presence of HCN, sodium hydroxide, ammonia, and water. Read this publication on methods for assessing existing relief systems with calorimetry data and recommendations for risk management in the presence of sodium hydroxide and ammonia chemicals.

AN Dimerization ARC Test Data Summary

AN Dimerization ARC Test Data Summary

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