Matt Meredith is a technical manager for the materials science R&D group in Huntsman’s Performance Products division. He oversees product development and technical support for Huntsman’s amine products that are used in polyurethanes, epoxy systems and polymeric dispersants. After joining Huntsman in 2012, he initially focused on agrochemical formulations and additives. In 2018, he joined the polyurethane catalyst group. Matt holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, where he focused on conducting polymer modification and enzymatic bioelectrocatalysis.
In-situ Monitoring of Acrylonitrile Addition
Base-catalyzed acrylonitrile addition to low molecular weight alcohols is an inherently delicate reaction that requires careful monitoring of conditions, catalyst activity and yield. In particular, if the temperature is not well-controlled, the reaction can exotherm. Traditional synthetic methods used to run these reactions give little information on reaction progress, efficiency or safety.
This presentation will explore the use of in-situ FTIR spectroscopy and reaction calorimetry to safely conduct and monitor the base-catalyzed acrylonitrile addition to a diol:
- Dangerous pooling of acrylonitrile was avoided by observing the slow initial reaction rate — including a previously unseen enothermic effect of acrylonitrile addition and a build-up of acryolonitrite at the front-end of the reaction
- Potential runaway reaction was avoided as the dosing system stopped when maximum heat production was reached
- Reaction ran efficiently and safely as the system was able to add more acrylonitrile when reaction slowed