ProductsOrganic synthesis productsAcetonitrile technical

Acetonitrile, also called methyl cyanide, is the simplest organic nitrile, miscible with water, methanol, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, acetone, ether, acetamide solutions, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene chloride and many unsaturated hydrocarbons. Immiscible with many saturated hydrocarbons (petroleum fractions).





EC No.


Molecular Formula



Clear, colourless liquid

Basic substance content, %

99,2% min.

Mass part of hcn, %

0.0009 max.

Mass part of ammonia, (NH3), %

0.0008 max.

Mass part of acetone, %

0.005 max.

Mass part of acrylonitrile, %

0.007 max.

Mass part of acetic acid, %

0.003 max.

Mass part of water, %

0.2 max.

Mass part of propionitrile, %

0.1 max.

Mass fraction of allyl alcohol, %

0.8 max.

Non-volatile matter, mg/kg

30 max.

Molecular Weight



0.787 g/ml (15 °C)

Boiling Point

81.6 °C

Melting point

-45 °C



in water, methanol, ethyl acetate,


acetone, ether, chloroform,


and many unsaturated hydrocarbons



Acetonitrile is used as a solvent to dissolve organic compounds, as an extracting agent to split hydrocarbons by extractive rectification, as a raw material for organic synthesis and also for production of vitamin B1, in textile industry and for extracting resins, fenols and colouring substances from hydrocarbons and oil. Also used in agrochemical field.

It is used as a general purpose solvent for many compounds. It is used in the production of fibers, rubbers, and resins. It is replacing acrylonitrile, an important starting material in the manufacture of fabrics, plastics, and synthetic rubber. It is used as a chemical intermediate in pesticide, perfume and pharmaceutical manufacturing. It is used in high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis. It is used in extraction and refining of copper.

Organic nitriles act as solvents and are reacted further for various application including:

• Extraction solvent for fatty acids, oils and unsaturated hydrocarbons

• Solvent for spinning and casting and extractive distillation based on its selective miscibility with organic compounds.

• Removing agent of colouring matters and aromatic alcohols

• Non-aqueous solvent for titrations and for inorganic salts

• Recrystallization of steroids

• Parent compound for organic synthesis

• Solvent or chemical intermediate in biochemistry ( pesticide sequencing and DNA synthesis)

• High-pressure liquid chromatographic analysis

• Catalyst and component of transition-metal complex catalysts

• Stabilizer for chlorinated solvents

• Chemical intermediate and solvent for perfumes and pharmaceuticals

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