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Acrylic acid also known as 2-proenoic acid, vinyl formic acid, and propene acid with a molecular formula of C3H4O2 , CAS: 79-10-7. It is a clear, colourless, corrosive, and flammable liquid that has an acrid-pungent odour. It is miscible with water, alcohol, ether, benzene, chloroform, and acetone.
Acrylic acid is produced by a 2 steps reaction with the vapour-phase oxidation of propylene. The first step converting the propylene to acrolein and the second converting the acrolein to acrylic acid.
It is supplied with inhibitors that prevent hazardous polymerisation, as it can become unstable. It has a flash point of 50°C and is therefore flammable and it has a specific gravity of 1.05
There are two main uses for acrylic acid. The first is to use acrylic acid as a chemical intermediate in the production of acrylic esters and resins. The acrylic esters include ethyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, methyl acrylate, and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate. They are then polymerised and become ingredients in paint formulations, coatings, textiles (woven and non-woven), adhesives, polishes, and plastics. Methyl acrylate is also used in the manufacture of vitamin B1. The resins are employed in such things as molding powders for signs, construction units, and decorative emblems.
The second major use for acrylic acid is as a building block in the production of polyacrylic acid polymers. These polymers are cross-linked polyacrylates and are super absorbent with the ability to absorb and retain more than one hundred times their own weight. They are used to make nappies, and feminine hygiene products.