PEP Review 76-3-4
Hydrogen Cyanide from Methanol
Published: June 1977
Patents assigned to Nitto Chemical and Sumitomo Chemical indicate interest in a route to hydrogen cyanide via the catalytic ammoxidation of methanol. The present screening evaluation compares the costs of such a process to those of manufacturing hydrogen cyanide by the ammoxidation of methane (Andrussow technology).
The evaluation indicates that a direct methanol route is very unlikely to become competitive even if methanol were available at fuel cost. Coammoxidation of methanol and propylene to increase the relative yields of by-product HCN in the acrylonitrile process may be an option of interest in certain circumstances, but insufficient data are available to draw any firm conclusions regarding the economics of such a strategy.