Acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, is a colorless, flammable liquid with a pungent odor. It is an important industrial chemical, and its primary use is in the production of acrylic fibers, plastics, and resins. The manufacturing process of acrylonitrile involves several steps that are carried out under carefully controlled conditions. In this article, we will take a closer look at the industrial process of manufacturing acrylonitrile.
The first step in the production of acrylonitrile is the preparation of propylene, which is a byproduct of the refining of crude oil. Propylene is fed into a reactor vessel, where it undergoes a process known as ammoxidation. In this process, propylene is reacted with ammonia and oxygen in the presence of a catalyst such as bismuth molybdate. The reaction takes place at a temperature of around 400-500°C and a pressure of around 1-3 atm.
The ammoxidation reaction produces a mixture of acrylonitrile, hydrogen cyanide, and water. The mixture is then cooled and fed into a distillation column, where it is separated into its individual components. The highest-boiling component, water, is removed from the bottom of the column, while the lower-boiling components, acrylonitrile and hydrogen cyanide, are removed from the top of the column.
The acrylonitrile and hydrogen cyanide mixture is then fed into a hydrogenation reactor, where hydrogen is added to the mixture to convert the hydrogen cyanide into formic acid. The reaction takes place at a temperature of around 200-250°C and a pressure of around 10-50 atm. The resulting mixture of acrylonitrile and formic acid is then fed into another distillation column, where it is separated into its individual components.
The highest-boiling component, formic acid, is removed from the bottom of the column, while the lower-boiling component, acrylonitrile, is removed from the top of the column. The acrylonitrile is then purified by passing it through a series of water washes to remove any impurities.
The final product is a highly pure form of acrylonitrile that can be used in the production of various industrial products. The entire manufacturing process of acrylonitrile is carefully monitored to ensure that it meets the strict quality control standards set by regulatory agencies.
In conclusion, the industrial process of manufacturing acrylonitrile involves several steps that are carried out using advanced technologies and under carefully controlled conditions. The production of acrylonitrile is a crucial aspect of the chemical industry, and its use in the manufacture of various industrial products is expected to rise in the coming years.