Acetonitrile

AcetonitrileAcetonitrile

What Is Acetonitrile?

Acetonitrile is the simplest organic nitrile. This colorless and polar aprotic solvent is used for organic synthesis and purifications, and to extract fatty acids from oils.

Acetonitrile was first prepared in 1847 by Jean-Baptiste Dumas. In the laboratory, it is commonly used as a medium-polarity solvent. It is miscible with water and some organic solvents, but not with saturated hydrocarbons.

It is popular in cyclic voltammetry, and its ultraviolet transparency, low viscosity, and low chemical reactivity are useful for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Because it dissolves a range of ionic and nonpolar compounds, acetonitrile serves as a mobile phase solvent in HPLC and LC–MS. It is also the main solvent used to make DNA oligonucleotides from monomers.

Acetonitrile is modestly toxic in small doses. Cases of acetonitrile/cyanide poisoning are rare but can occur by inhalation, ingestion, or skin exposure. Symptoms, which may not appear for several hours after exposure, include respiratory issues, slow pulse rate, nausea, and vomiting. Convulsions and coma can occur and death from respiratory failure may follow.

Synonyms: Methyl cyanide, ethanenitrile (IUPAC name), cyanomethane, ethyl nitrile, methane carbonitrile, MeCN

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    Physical and Chemical Properties

    PropertyValue  

    Property

    Molecular Weight
    Value
    41.05 g/mol
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Molar Mass
    Value
    41.053 g/mol
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Density
    Value
    0.786 g/mL at 25ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Boiling Point
    Value
    81 to 82ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Melting Point
    Value
    -48ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Flash Point
    Value
    5.5ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Viscosity
    Value
    0.369 cP at 25ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Dielectric Constant
    Value
    36.64 at 20ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Dipole Moment
    Value
    36.64 at 20ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    UV Cutoff
    Value
    190 nm
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Refractive Index
    Value
    1.344 at 20ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Vapor Pressure
    Value
    72.8 mm Hg (20ºC)
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Water Solubility
    Value
    24.36 M
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Heat of Combustion
    Value
    31.03 x 106 J/kg at 25ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Heat of Vaporization
    Value
    72.7 x 104 J/kg at 80ºC
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Dissociation Constants
    Value
    pKa = -4.30 (conjugate acid)
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Surface Tension
    Value
    29.04 dyn/cm at 20ºC
     
     
     
     

    Uses

    Acetonitrile is used as a solvent for the production of pharmaceuticals and photographic film. It is also used to make perfumes, rubber products, pesticides, acrylic nail removers, and batteries.


    Designations and Grades

    PropertyValue  

    Property

    CAS Number
    Value
    75-05-8
     
     
     
     

    Property

    MDL Number
    Value
    MFCD00001878
     
     
     
     

    Property

    RIDAD /UN Number
    Value
    UN 1648 3/PG 2
     
     
     
     

    Property

    Beilstein Registry
    Value
    741857
     
     
     
     

    Property

    EG/EC Number
    Value
    2008352
     
     
     
     

    Grades

    ACS, ACS Reagent, Certified ACS

    Anhydrous/Dry/Extra Dry

    Biochemical

    Electronic/Semiconductor

    GC, Capillary GC

    GC Gradient

    GC/Pesticide Residue

    Histological

    HPLC Gradient

    HPLC/UHPLC

    Laboratory/Technical

    LC-MS, Ultra LC-MS

    Low Water

    Mobile Phase

    NF/USP

    Purge and Trap

    Sequencing

    Spectrophotometry

    Solvent Blends

    Trace Metals


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