Matter & Energy

Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.


Acrylonitrile, colorless, volatile liquid, with a pungent odor. It can be made by the reaction of hydrogen cyanide, HCN, with ethylene oxide, or acetylene. Currently, however, most acrylonitrile is produced through the reaction of propene, ammonia, and oxygen. Acrylonitrile is used in the production of acrylic fibers, plastics, and synthetic rubbers.

Acrylonitrile melts at -83.5° C (-118.3° F), boils at 77.5° C (171.5° F), and has a density of 0.806 g per ml at 20° C (68° F). In recent years acrylonitrile has been implicated as a carcinogen.