Acrylic acid

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

CAS No: 79-10-7; Ethylene carboxylic acid; prop-2-ene acid; Propenoic acid; Vinyl carboxylic acid

Definition
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Acrylic acid or propenoic acid is the simplest unsaturated monocarboxylic acid with the formula: CH2=CH-COOH. The acrylic acid is a colourless, water-soluble liquid with a slightly pungent, vinegar-like odour. Its salts and esters (acrylic acid esters) are called acrylates.

Acrylic acid is a comonomer for the production of special polymers (polyacrylic acid derivatives). It tends to polymerize very quickly(polyacrylic acid). In the cosmetic/hygienic field, the main use of acrylic acid is in superabsorbents (e.g. diapers, sanitary towels, dressing materials) where the acrylic acid can absorb up to a thousand times its volume.

Note(s)
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The substance is harmful if swallowed (stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea). It can be absorbed through skin contact. Inhaled acrylic acid can lead to toxic pulmonary oedema.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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