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or ethyl cyanide
, is a nitrile
A nitrile is any organic compound that has a -C≡N functional group. The prefix cyano- is used interchangeably with the term nitrile in industrial literature. Nitriles are found in many useful compounds, one example being super glue .Inorganic compounds containing the -C≡N group are not called...
with the molecular formula C2
CN. It is a clear liquid with an ethereal, sweet odor.
Propanenitrile can be produced by the dehydration
In chemistry and the biological sciences, a dehydration reaction is usually defined as a chemical reaction that involves the loss of water from the reacting molecule. Dehydration reactions are a subset of elimination reactions...
Propanamide has the chemical formula CH3CH2C=O. It is the amide of propanoic acid.This organic compound is a mono-substituted amide. Organic compounds of the amide group can react in many different organic processes to for other useful compound for synthesis....
, by catalytic reduction of acrylonitrile
Acrylonitrile is the chemical compound with the formula C3H3N. This pungent-smelling colorless liquid often appears yellow due to impurities. It is an important monomer for the manufacture of useful plastics. In terms of its molecular structure, it consists of a vinyl group linked to a nitrile...
, or by distilling ethyl sulfate and potassium cyanide
Potassium cyanide is an inorganic compound with the formula KCN. This colorless crystalline compound, similar in appearance to sugar, is highly soluble in water. Most KCN is used in gold mining, organic synthesis, and electroplating. Smaller applications include jewelry for chemical gilding and...
In 1979, the Kalama (Vega) plant in Beaufort
Beaufort is a city in and the county seat of Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city's population was 12,361 in the 2010 census. It is located in the Hilton Head Island-Beaufort Micropolitan...
, South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...
experienced an explosion during the production of propanenitrile by nickel-catalyzed reduction of acrylonitrile. This site is now one of the two Superfund
Superfund is the common name for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 , a United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances...
cleanup sites in South Carolina.
Propanenitrile is poisonous when heated to decomposition or upon treatment with acid. Propanenitrile has been determined to be teratogenic due to the metabolic release of cyanide.