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Adipic AcidPlastics


Adipic Acid is on the FDA’s list of safe food additives.
One of the most widely used pH adjusters of food and pharmaceuticals.
Removes limescale and rust stains.


Food and Beverage:

Adipic acid is used as a gelling aid to give foods a more flexible shape (e.g. in gelatin, cheeses).
Also used as an acidulant, or to increase the acidity and tart taste of various foods, such as in fruit juices and gelatin; also adds the bubbly fizz to many drinks.
Adipic Acid is used as a leavening agent in baking powder and cake mixes.
This product is also added to edible oils to increase shelf life.

Commercial Uses:

The majority of Adipic Acid is used to produce nylon 66, which is processed into fibres for use in automobile tire cords, carpeting and clothing.
It is often used in footwear and furniture due to its flexible properties.
Adipic Acid is used as a laundry-tablet coating agent to reduce the hardness of detergent.


Adipic acid has been used to reach the desired pH in many weakly acidic and weakly basic drugs.
It is also utilized in the coating of hydrophilic drugs for easier integration into the body.


Adipic Acid is a monomer for the production of polyurethane, which is used as a foam rubber and sealer, adhesive, and synthetic fibre (e.g. Spandex).
The esters of Adipic Acid are plasticizers, which increase the plasticity or fluidity of a material. They are most often used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the third most widely produced synthetic plastic.


Regarded as the most crucial dicarboxylic acid in industrial practice, Adipic acid is rarely found in nature and is instead produced in a white, crystalline powder as a precursor for nylon production. It is produced from a ketone-alcohol (KA) oil of cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone, which is then oxidized with nitric acid to produce Adipic Acid.


Found in beets and sugar cane naturally, Adipic acid was not of much interest to chemists until 1939, when Wallace Carothers invented nylon. Researchers learned of the role Adipic Acid played in reacting to produce nylon 606, and thus they needed to find a way to mass produce the chemical. After successfully producing it from KA oil, more than 5.7 billion pounds of Adipic Acid are produced annually worldwide.

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