Acetonitrile (CH3CN) Handling Design, Loading, and Installation.

Although no two Acetonitrile Loading solutions will be identical, the product itself determines much of the critical design criteria that will ensure that optimum safety and productivity can work together in harmony. 

What is Acetonitrile? Acetonitrile is a toxic, clear colorless liquid with an ether-like odor and a sweet, burnt taste. It’s an extremely dangerous substance and must be handled with caution, as it can cause severe health effects or death. Acetonitrile is also known as cyanomethane, ethyl nitrile, methane carbonitrile, and methy cyanide. This chemical compound (solvent) is derived from combining acetic acid and ammonia.

In the United States, Acetonitrile is a “tight-fill” (closed-loop) loading operation and is loaded or unloaded into rail cars via chemical hoses or 3” stainless steel loading arms. Acetonitrile, if not handled properly can cause serious injuries and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. Additionally, because operators are on top of the vehicles during the loading process, robust, well-designed fall prevention is essential to ensure increased throughput, without compromising operator safety.

Acetonitrile is typically shipped in 10,000 gallon DOT-103 insulated or non-insulated tank cars with safety valves.  The rails cars themselves are ~ 9′ outside diameter with an overall length of ~45’ to 50′, with a 6’ x 6’ center opening or off-set crash box openings.


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