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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Methyl methacrylate is an organic compound with the formula CH2=C(CH3)CO2CH3. This colourless liquid, the methyl ester of methacrylic acid (MAA) is the monomer for the production of the transparent plastic polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).
  • Methyl methacrylate is a flammable, melting at -48 C, boiling at 101 C, soluble in the most organic solvents but insoluble in water.
  • Methyl methacrylate is a volatile liquid, with a characteristic odour that has been described as fragrant, fruity, acrid and pungent, or onion-like.

Process

  • Methyl methacrylate is prepared by the esterification of methacrylamide sulfate with methanol.
  • Most producers apply an acetone cyanohydrin (ACH) route, with acetone and hydrogen cyanide as raw materials. The intermediate cyanohydrin is converted with sulfuric acid to a sulfate ester of the methacrylamide, hydrolysis of which gives ammonium bisulfate and methacrylic acid(MAA). Methacrylic acid is then esterified with methanol to methyl methacrylate.
  • A new syngas based process is being developed for the production of methyl methacrylate(MMA). This process consists of three main steps, the synthesis of a propionate compound, its condensation with methanol derived formaldehyde and the esterification of the resulting methacrylic acid(MAA) with methanol to produce MMA.

Uses

  • The principal application of methyl methacrylate is the manufacture of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics.
  • Methyl methacrylate is used for the production of the co-polymer methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene (MBS), used as a modifier for PVC.
  • Methyl methacrylate is also used to prepare corrosion casts of anatomical organs, such as coronary arteries of the heart.
  • Methyl methacrylate polymers and co-polymers are used for waterborne coatings, such as latex house paint.
    It is also used in adhesive formulations.
  • A modern application is the use in plates that keep light spread evenly across LCD computer and TV screens.

Report

  • Methylmethacrylate (MMA) is considered nowadays as the most important methacrylic acid ester commercially available, with a world consumption valued at over $2.1 billion in past years.
  • The most widely practiced commercial technology for the synthesis of methacrylic acid (MAA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) is the acetone cyanohydrin (ACH) process. About 6 billion pounds of MMA are produced annually, corresponding to roughly $4.5 billion in sales.

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