The formula of acrylic acid is C3H4O2 and its molecular weight is 72g/mol. It is an organic compound and it is the simplest unsaturated carboxylic acid which consist of a vinyl group , this group is directly connected to a carboxylic acid terminus. Its chemical structure facilitates the combination with the large chain of compounds forming polymers. Therefore, it has extensive uses. Acrylic acid is a colorless and clear liquid with a characteristic harsh smell.
1 Moreover, acrylic acid is miscible with water, alcohol, ethers, and chloroform. And it has a melting point of 14 °C and a boiling point of 141 °C. Skin and respiratory system irritation can be caused by consistent exposure to these acids. However, low exposure is not harmful, but it can be toxic and lead to problems of pulmonary edema with consistent use.
2 Moreover, polymerization can happen if acrylic acid is continually exposed to heat or fire; polymerization can cause violent rupture if it takes place in a closed container, in this case an inhibitor is used in order to reduce the tendency to polymerize. 3• Acrylic Acid UsesThe uses of acrylic acid have grown over the years, it is used in different industries and its market is rapidly growing. The usage of acrylic acid has increased in many sections, starting from the production of cosmetics products to chemical industries. In the industries of production of acrylic esters, acrylic acid is used as a raw material. Acrylic esters include ethyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, methyl acrylate, and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, which are used in the preparation of solvent-based resins, but because of some environmental worries, their production was stopped.
Moreover, by developing water-based acrylics, it has become more useful. It’s used in home coating and many other products like paintings, paper, adhesives, and polishes. After a lot of research, polyacrylates with the help of acrylic acid were developed, which are now used to produce thickeners and dispersants.4 Acrylic acid is an important industrial chemical and a chemical intermediate that is used in the production processes of many industries; that’s why acrylic acid is used as a building block in the production of polyacrylic acid polymers.
These polymers are super absorbent, and have the ability to absorb and retain more than hundred times their weight. Furthermore, acrylic acid is used in the production of both detergent polymers and flocculants, which are used in the plants of wastewater treatment. 5 Acrylic acid can react with an alcohol through the reaction of a carboxylic acid to form corresponding aster. The salt of acrylic acid and the ester are known as acrylates.
Methyl, butyl, ethyl, and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, are the most common alkyl esters of acrylic acid. Acrylic acid can combine with its ester to form polyacrylic acid, and it can also combine with other monomers to form homopolymers or copolymers by reacting at their double bond. Homopolymers and copolymers are used in the manufacture of many plastics, adhesives, elastomers, coating, floor polishes and paints.6 Also, acrylic acid is used in the manufacturing of polyacrylates. Polyacrylates are used as dispersants, rheology controllers and thickeners. 7 By 2020, the consumption rate of acrylic acid on the worldwide scale is projected to be more than 8000 kilo tons, and this increase is occurring because of the use of acrylic acid in new applications.