Maleic anhydride is a colourless or white solid which has an acrid odour. It is an organic compound produced by the catalytic oxidation of normal butane or benzene, though the latter has become less common in recent years.
Maleic anhydride is a robust compound with a conjugated double bond system. This structure makes it a highly reactive and versatile raw material; it can be hydrolysed to produce maleic acid or combined with alcohols to form the half-ester and lends itself to a variety of other chemical reactions.
Synonyms: 2,5-Furandione, dihydro-2,5-dioxofuran, 2-Butendioic acid anhydride, Ethylenedicarboxylic acid anhydride, MSA, cis-Butendioic acid anhydride, toxilic anhydride
Applications of Maleic Anhydride
Maleic anhydride is primarily used as a base material for the production of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) which are used in reinforced plastics for a vast range of applications such as in the electronics and construction industries as well as in bathroom fixtures, pleasure boats and automobile parts. Its usage in the production of alkyd resins is also significant, these resins in turn being used in paints and coatings. It is also a key ingredient in the production of copolymers which enable the use of more sustainable raw materials, for example by inhibiting corrosion, forming protective coatings or repelling water.
Maleic anhydride is also used in additives for lubricating oils. Additionally, it has applications in the food industry where it is used in artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers, gelling agents and preservatives. It can also be found in pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, hair sprays, dyes and pigments, detergents and water treatment chemicals.
Storage and Handling
Keep in a cool, dry place and avoid contact with strong oxidizers, alkalis, metals, caustics and amines.
The material should be handled in accordance with good industry safety and hygiene practices. Relevant engineering controls should be implemented to control dust levels. Handle with gloves and avoid eye contact and inhalation. Protective clothing may be required depending on recommendations from appropriate risk assessments. Refer to product SDS for further guidance.