Chembox new
Name = Acrolein
ImageFileL1 = Acrolein-2D-skeletal-plus-H.png ImageSizeL1 = 100px
ImageFileR1 = Acrolein-3D-balls.png ImageSizeR1 = 120px
ImageFile2 = Acrolein-3D-vdW.png ImageSize2 = 120px
ImageName = Acrolein
IUPACName = Acrylaldehyde
OtherNames = Acraldehyde
Acrylic Aldehyde
Allyl Aldehyde
Ethylene Aldehyde

Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
InChI = 1/C3H4O/c1-2-3-4/h2-3H,1H2
CASNo = 107-02-8

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Appearance = Colorless to yellow liquid.
Irritating odor.
Solubility = Appreciable (> 10%)
MeltingPt = -88 °C (-126 °F)
BoilingPt = 53 °C (127 °F)

Section7 = Chembox Hazards
ExternalMSDS = [ JT Baker MSDS]
MainHazards = Highly poisonous. Causes severe irritation to exposed membranes. Extremely flammable liquid and vapor.
NFPA-H = 4
NFPA-R = 3
NFPA-F = 3
FlashPt = -26°C

Acrolein (systematic name: 2-propenal) is the simplest unsaturated aldehyde. It is produced widely but is most often immediately reacted with other products due to its instability and toxicity. It has a piercing, disagreeable, acrid smell similar to that of burning fat.


Acrolein is prepared industrially by oxidation of propene. Efforts are underway to use propane as feedstock for the synthesis, however, this is more difficult. [ [ New Catalyst for the Production of Acrolein Acid ] ] Several million tonnes of acrolein are produced each year.

When glycerol is heated to 280 °C, it decomposes into acrolein. [] ] Acrolein may also be produced on lab scale by the reaction of potassium bisulfate on glycerol (glycerine). [OrgSynth | author = Homer Adkins and W. H. Hartung | title = Acrolein | collvol = 1 | collvolpages = 15 | year = 1941 | prep = cv1p0015]


Acrolein is used in the preparation of polyester resin, polyurethane, propylene glycol, acrylic acid, acrylonitrile, and glycerol.Acrolein tends to polymerize when left at room temperature, leaving a gummy yellowish residue with a putrid odor. It is also thought to be an intermediate in the Skraup synthesis of quinolines, but is rarely used as such due to its instability.Acrolein is sometimes used as a fixative in preparation of biological specimens for electron microscopy.M J Dykstra, L E Reuss (2003) Biological Electron Microscopy: Theory, Techniques, and Troubleshooting. Springer, ISBN 0306477491, 9780306477492]

Health risks

Acrolein is a severe pulmonary irritant and lacrimating agent. It has been used as a chemical weapon during World War I. It is, however, not outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention.Acrolein is also a metabolite of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide, and is associated with hemorrhagic cystitis.Skin exposure to acrolein causes serious damage. Acrolein concentrations of 2 ppm are immediately harmful.Acrolein is not a suspected human carcinogen; no studies have been conducted on the carcinogenic effects of acrolein on humans, but studies on rats have shown an increase in cancerous tumors from ingestion, but not from inhalation. [] ] In October 2006, researchers found connections between acrolein in the smoke from tobacco cigarettes and the risk of lung cancer.cite journal | last =Feng | first =Z | coauthors =Hu W, Hu Y, Tang M | title =Acrolein is a major cigarette-related lung cancer agent: Preferential binding at p53 mutational hotspots and inhibition of DNA repair | journal = Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences| volume =103 | issue =42 | pages =15404–15409 |date =Oct 2006 | url = | pmid =17030796 | doi=10.1073/pnas.0607031103]

Acrolein test

Acrolein test is a test for the presence of glycerin or fats. A sample is heated with potassium bisulfate, and acrolein is released if the test is positive. [ [ acrolein test: Definition and Much More from ] ] When a fat is heated strongly in the presence of a dehydrating agent such as KHSO4, the glycerol portion of the molecule is dehydrated to form the unsaturated aldehyde, acrolein (CH2=CH-CHO), which has the peculiar odor of burnt grease.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Acrolein — A*cro le*in, n. [L. acer sharp + ol[=e]re to smell.] (Chem.) A limpid, colorless, highly volatile liquid, obtained by the dehydration of glycerin, or the destructive distillation of neutral fats containing glycerin. Its vapors are intensely… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Acrolein — (Chem.), C6H4O2, bildet den scharfen reizenden Dampf, der sich bei der Einwirkung der Wärme auf die Fette u. die fetten Öle bildet; es entsteht aus dem Glycerin einfach durch Wasserentziehung mittelst wasserfreier Phosphorsäure u. ähnlichen… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • acrolein — [ə krō′lē in] n. [ ACR(ID) + L olere, to smell + IN1] a yellowish or colorless, acrid liquid, CH2:CHCHO, whose fumes irritate the eyes: it is formed by the decomposition of glycerol and is used in organic synthesis and in plastics, poison gas,… …   English World dictionary

  • Acrolein — Strukturformel Allgemeines Name Acrolein Andere Namen Propena …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Acrolein — Ac|ro|le|in 〈n. 11; unz.〉 = Akrolein * * * A|c|ro|le|in [lat. acer = scharf, stechend, u. olere = riechen; ↑ in (3)], das; s; Syn.: Propenal, Acrylaldehyd: H2C=CH CHO; brennbare, farblose, stechend riechende u. giftige Fl., Sdp. 52 °C, die zu… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • acrolein — akrilaldehidas statusas T sritis chemija formulė CH₂=CHCHO atitikmenys: angl. acrylaldehyde; acrolein rus. акриловый альдегид; акролеин ryšiai: sinonimas – akroleinas sinonimas – propenalis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • acrolein — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary acr (from Latin acr , acer) + Latin olēre to smell more at odor Date: circa 1857 a colorless irritant pungent liquid aldehyde C3H4O used chiefly in organic synthesis …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • acrolein — /euh kroh lee in/, n. Chem. a yellow, flammable liquid, C3H4O, having a stifling odor, usually obtained by the decomposition of glycerol: used chiefly in the synthesis of commercial and pharmaceutical products. Also called acraldehyde,… …   Universalium

  • acrolein — noun A pungent, acrid, poisonous liquid aldehyde, CH=CH CH=O, made by the destructive distillation of glycerol. Syn: acrylaldehyde, propenal …   Wiktionary

  • acrolein — acro·le·in ə krō lē ən n a toxic colorless liquid aldehyde C3H4O with acrid odor and irritating vapors that polymerizes readily into resins and is used chiefly in organic synthesis (as of methionine) called also acrylaldehyde * * * acro·le·in (ak …   Medical dictionary