Catalytic Synthesis of Acetonitrile by Ammonolysis of Acetic Acid

S.I. Galanov1,2, O.I. Sidorova2, A.K.Golovko2, V.D. Philimonov3,

L.N. Kurina1,2, E.A. Rozhdestvenskiy1

1Tomsk State University, 36, Lenina Ave., 634050, Tomsk, Russia

2Institute of Petroleum Chemistry, 3, Academichesky Ave., 634021,Tomsk, Russia

3Tomsk Polytechnical University, 30, Lenina Ave., 634043, Tomsk, Russia


The influence of principal parameters (reagent ratio, reaction temperature, temperature gradients along a catalyst layer) on the yield of the desired product was studied in the reaction of acetonitrile synthesis from acetic acid over g-alumina. Thus, the increase in ammonia:acetic acid ratio leads to the increase in acetonitrile selectivity and yield. In this work it has been demonstrated that initial temperatures of 360-380C are optimum to effectively carry out the process of acetonitrile synthesis. The increase in reaction temperature allows one to increase the yield of acetonitrile, but at elevated temperatures the catalyst carbidization and contamination of the desired product were observed. The additives to the reaction mixture of the substances that decrease the rate of compaction products (CP) formation and participate in the desired product formation are very effective for decreasing the catalyst carbidization. The effect of the composition of a reaction mixture on a catalyst lifetime is considered. The addition of ethyl acetate to acetic acid promotes a greater carbidization as compared to pure acetic acid. The application of a mixture of acetic acid with acetic anhydride at similar acetonitrile yield decreases the catalyst carbidization.