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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Melamine is an organic base with the chemical formula C3H6N6, with the IUPAC name 1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine. It is only slightly soluble in water.
  • Melamine is a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide. It is formed in the body of mammals who have ingested cyromazine. It was also reported that cyromazine is converted to melamine in plants.

Process

  • In early production, first calcium cyanamide is converted into dicyandiamide, then heated above its melting temperature to produce melamine. However, today most industrial manufacturers use urea in the following reaction to produce melamine
    6 (NH2)2CO -> C3H6N6 + 6 NH3 + 3 CO2
  • It can be understood as two steps. First, urea decomposes into cyanic acid in an endothermic reaction (NH2)2CO -> HCNO + NH3. Then cyanic acid polymerizes to form melamine and carbon dioxide:                                       6 HCNO -> C3H6N6 + 3 CO2. The second reaction is exothermic and the overall process is endothermic.

Uses

  • Melamine is used combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durable thermosetting plastic, and of melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product.
  • Uses for melamine include whiteboards, floor tiles, kitchenware, fire retardant fabrics, and commercial filters.
  • Melamine also plays a role in a wide range of flame resistant materials. These include textiles used in upholstery and the uniforms worn by firemen.
  • Melamine is a chemical traditionally used in the production of plastics, specifically fire-resistant and heat-tolerant industrial products, such as countertops, fabrics, cooking utensils, glues and flame retardants.

Market

  • Melamine is a chemical traditionally used in the production of plastics, specifically fire-resistant and heat-tolerant industrial products, such as countertops, fabrics, cooking utensils, glues and flame retardants.
  • China's demand for melamine has been growing 18.7% over the past decade.
  • China plays an important role in the international melamine market. The export volume of Chinese melamine kept increasing in the past few years.
  • The melamine industry has seen a price surge in recent months, driven up sharply by a spate of plant closures and shutdowns in Asia and Europe. Over 200,000 tonnes of output had been lost last year as a result of these shutdowns.

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