The Column - January 2009 - (Page 12)

Incognito The Column January 2009 Laurent Hamels/Getty Images Overcoming the Acetonitrile Crunch… It’s official — there is a worldwide shortage of acetonitrile. In my own laboratory we are down to our last Winchester with no prospects of another delivery any time soon. What has brought us so quickly (and unexpectedly) to this position and, more importantly, how can we address the problem? The main production route of acetonitrile is as a (September 2008) and a plant in China having by-product of the ammoxidation of propylene production heavily attenuated during the to form acrylonitrile, which is used in Beijing Olympics to improve air quality acrylic fibres and acrylonitrileand meet export bans during the butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins mid to latter part of 2008. Both United States 26% Western Europe 24% (acetonitrile is produced at of these plants remain out of 2–4% v/v from this process). commission as far as I can These materials are used ascertain. in a variety of products Global consumption of including carpets, clothing acetonitrile is forecast and car bumpers: the to continue to grow at Other 3% demand for all of which a rate of about 5% per is currently in decline. year over the next five Further, ABS resins are years. The major growth Japan 9% highly flammable which, is expected for China since the withdrawal of and India because of the several brominated fire increasing production China 23% retardants, are increasingly of engineered drugs, expensive to manufacture generic pharmaceuticals and India 15% to regulatory standards pesticides taking place in these leading to a further downturn countries. In Europe the annual in their popularity. growth rate will be slower whereas Further complicating factors include in the United States the market for a major acrylonitrile plant in Texas, acetonitrile is expected to remain more or USA being affected by Hurricane Ike less flat. Please refer to the pie chart. Worldwide market for acetonitrile Contact author: E-mail: Incognito 12

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Column - January 2009

The Column - January 2009
“Green HPLC” — A Status Review
Market Trends and Analysis
Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography for Achieving Nitrogen Speciation in Middle Distillates
A Dissolved/Particulate Baseline Study of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons in Particulate-Laden Water

The Column - January 2009