Glycolic Acid in Acrylonitrile

Glycolic Acid in Acrylonitrile Purification Operations

This cosmetic-grade glycolic acid provides significant benefits in reducing polymer formation while also improving waste management and product quality in acrylonitrile purification operations.

In acrylonitrile operations, glycolic acid forms ammonium glycolate by scavenging free ammonia—a more heat-stable compound than ammonium acetate formed by using acetic acid. A reduced breakdown of ammonium acetate leads to lower free ammonia in the system at heat transfer surfaces. That prevents more hydrogen cyanide (HCN) polymerization, which is catalyzed by free ammonia.

How Glycolic Acid Works

The benefits of using this product over acetic acid include:

  • Cutting cleaning costs by needing just one-third the amount for most applications
  • Leveraging a high-partition coefficient to the water phase, which reduces potential for HCN polymer formation
  • Higher finished product quality
  • Forming ammonium glycolate by scavenging free ammonia, a more heat-stable compound than acetic acid

Features and Benefits

Glycolic acid improves column and re-boiler life and reduces maintenance, repair, cleaning, and disposal expenses.

Additional beneficial properties and features of this glycolic acid include:

  • Nonflammable, low VOC properties
  • Low odor, fumes, toxicity, and corrosion
  • Zero chlorides
  • Reduced wastewater concentration levels
  • Ease of retrofitting, since existing equipment usually requires few—if any—modifications