The principle end use of acrylamide is in water-soluble polymers used as additives for water treatment, enhanced oil recovery, flocculants, paper making aids, thickeners, soil conditioning agents, sewage and waste treatment, ore processing, and permanent-press fabrics. The monomer's use is primarily as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of the polymer. It is also used in the synthesis of dyes, as a cross-linking agent, in soil conditioning agents, in flocculants, in sewage and waste treatment, in ore processing, in adhesives, in paper and textile coatings, and in permanent press fabrics. Acrylamide is also used in the synthesis of dyes, in copolymers for contact lenses, and the construction of dam foundations, tunnels, and sewers. The largest use for polyacrylamide is in treating municipal drinking water and waste water. The polymer is also used to remove suspended solids from industrial waste water before discharge, reuse, or disposal. Ten to thirty percent of the annual production volume is used in oil-recovery processes in which the polyacrylamides increase water viscosity. Acrylamides also find use in oil-drilling processes to control fluid losses. In the pulp and paper industry, polyacrylamides are used as binders and retention aids for fibres and to retain pigments on paper fibres. They are incorporated in cement to slow the dehydration process to improve structural strength. Methylated polyacrylamide with subsequent radiation curing is used to produce waterproof concrete. Polyacrylamides are incorporated in coatings as dispersants and binders and in water-based paints for pigment suspension and flow. Home appliances, building materials, and automotive parts are coated with acrylamide resins and thermosetting acrylics. Acrylamides are formulated in cosmetics and soap preparations as thickeners and in dental fixtures, hair grooming preparations, and preshave lotions. In the textile industry, polyacrylamides are used to size and shrink-proof material and as water repellents. Minor uses of acrylamide are as latex thickeners, emulsion stabilisers for printing inks, gelling agents for explosives, binders in adhesives and adhesive tape; in the production of diazo compounds; and for gel chromatography and electrophoresis.
Substance name: Acrylamide
CASR number: 79-06-1
Molecular formula: C3H5NO
Synonyms: 2-propenamide, acrylic amide, ethylenecarboxamide, propenoic acid, amide propenamide, acrylamide monomer RCRA waste number U007, UN 2074, vinyl amide.
Acrylamide occurs in crystalline form and in aqueous solutions. It exists as a monomer (individual molecule) or as a polymer (chains of monomers).
Boiling Point: 125°C at 25 mm Hg
Melting Point: 84.5°C
Vapour Density: 2.45
Density: 1.122 at 30°C
Vapour Pressure: 0.007 mm Hg at 25°C
The crystalline monomer is a colourless-to-white, free-flowing crystal that is very soluble in water, alcohol and ether, and is insoluble in benzene and heptane. It is stable at room temperature, but may polymerise violently when melted or in contact with oxidising agents and under ultra-violet light. When heated to decomposition, acrylamide emits acrid fumes and nitrogen oxides. The polymer exists in many forms, soluble and insoluble in water.
The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) holds data for all sources of acrylamide emissions in Australia.
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