24 December 2008

Acetonitrile Shortages

This story has already been covered in, "Acetonitrile (Did the housing bubble screw up your HPLC?)".

Quoting from the link above,

"From a recent C&E News:

Acetonitrile is a coproduct of the process used to make acrylonitrile, a building block for acrylic fibers and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins. An acrylonitrile plant yields 2 to 4 L of acetonitrile for every 100 L of acrylonitrile produced. Only one U.S. producer, Ineos, bothers to extract it for sale to the merchant market, which it does at plants in Green Lake, Texas, and Lima, Ohio. Most acrylonitrile producers incinerate the coproduct as fuel.

And it is acetonitrile's status as a minor coproduct that has led to its present scarcity. Amin Dhalla, business director for Ineos Nitriles, says acrylonitrile production has been ebbing. Demand for ABS resins, used in cars, electronic housings, and small appliances, is slumping around the world because of the global economic slowdown. The acrylic fiber market is also on the decline, losing market share to polyester fibers. Operating rates at acrylonitrile plants are less than 60% globally."


  1. from the comments, http://www.acetonitrilerecycling.com/, and

  2. The Great Acetonitrile Shortage


  1. Actually, I've just set up a blog about acetonitrile recycling and the solvent recycler. I don't think this will last for very long and there are things you can do in the mean time. The best way to conserve your acetonitrile is to recycle it. Not only will that get you over this shortfall in production but it will save your lab money as well.

  2. thanks for the comment, Steve.