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Technology Profile: Acrylonitrile Production from Propylene

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Acrylonitrile Production from Propylene,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/acrylonitrile-e11a. The highly reactive compound acrylonitrile (AN) contains a carbon-carbon double bond conjugated with a nitrile group. The chemical became important mainly after the 1930s, when it started to be used in the manufacture of synthetic fibers and rubbers. The process The following describes a process for acrylonitrile production from propylene (Figure 1). Ammoxidation. Chemical-grade propylene, ammonia and compressed air are fed to a reactor, where an ammoxidation reaction (oxidation of propylene in the presence of ammonia and catalyst) occurs in the vapor phase, over fluidized catalysts. Internal coils remove reaction heat, used for generating steam. Separation. The reactor effluent is sent to a quench column, where unreacted ammonia is neutralized with sulfuric acid. The cooled effluent gas is partially condensed and transferred to a recovery column. The effluent gases are directed to a nitrile absorber, where acrylonitrile is absorbed in a chilled aqueous stream and transferred to the recovery column. In the recovery column, acetonitrile and water are separated…
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