Methacrylic acid

Methacrylic acid, abbreviated MAA, is an organic compound. This colorless, viscous liquid is a carboxylic acid with an acrid unpleasant odor. It is soluble in warm water and miscible with most organic solvents. Methacrylic acid is produced industrially on a large scale as a precursor to its esters, especially methyl methacrylate (MMA) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). MAA occurs naturally in small amounts in the oil of Roman chamomile.

Methacrylic acid
Structural formula of methacrylic acid
Ball-and-stick model of the methacrylic acid molecule
Preferred IUPAC name
2-Methylprop-2-enoic acid
Other names
Methacrylic acid
2-Methyl-2-propenoic acid
α-Methacrylic acid
2-Methylacrylic acid
2-Methylpropenoic acid
3D model (JSmol)
Abbreviations MAA
ECHA InfoCard 100.001.096 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 201-204-4
MeSH C008384
  • InChI=1S/C4H6O2/c1-3(2)4(5)6/h1H2,2H3,(H,5,6)
  • CC(C(O)=O)=C
Molar mass 86.09 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid or solid
Odor Acrid, repulsive[1]
Density 1.015 g/cm3
Melting point 14 to 15 °C (57 to 59 °F; 287 to 288 K)
Boiling point 161 °C (322 °F; 434 K)
9% (25 °C)[1]
Vapor pressure 0.7 mmHg (20 °C)[1]
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point 77.2 °C (171.0 °F; 350.3 K)
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
REL (Recommended)
TWA 20 ppm (70 mg/m3) [skin][1]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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In the most common route, methacrylic acid is prepared from acetone cyanohydrin, which is converted to methacrylamide sulfate using sulfuric acid. This derivative in turn is hydrolyzed to methacrylic acid, or esterified to methyl methacrylate in one step. In the second route, isobutylene or tert-butanol are oxidized to methacrolein, then methacrylic acid. Methacrolein for this purpose can also be obtained from formaldehyde and ethylene. Isobutyric acid can also be dehydrogenated to methacrylic acid.[2]

It can also be prepared by decarboxylation of itaconic acid, citraconic acid, and mesaconic acid. Such green precursors are not of commercial value. It is, however, obtained by boiling citra- or meso-brompyrotartaric acids with alkalis.


Methacrylic acid is used in some nail primers to help acrylic nails adhere to the nail plate.[3]


Methacrylic acid was first obtained in the form of its ethyl ester by treating phosphorus pentachloride with oxyisobutyric ester (A synonym for beta-hydroxy-butyric acid or 3-hydroxybutyric acid[4]) .[5] When fused with an alkali, it forms propanoic acid. Sodium amalgam reduces it to isobutyric acid. A polymeric form of methacrylic acid was described in 1880.[6]

Typical vinyl ester resin derived from bisphenol A diglycidyl ether and methacrylic acid.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0386". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  2. ^ William Bauer, Jr. (2002). "Methacrylic Acid and Derivatives". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a16_441.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Products - Nail Care Products". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Edward Frankland Annalen, 1865, 136, p. 12
  6. ^ F. Engelhorn et al. Ann., 1880, 200, p. 70.
  7. ^ Pham, Ha Q.; Marks, Maurice J. (2012). "Epoxy Resins". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a09_547.pub2. ISBN 978-3527306732.

External linksEdit

  • [1] Methacrylic Acid in Europe.