Acrylamide Supply Chain - Executive Summary


Precursor Chemical


Inputs to Manufacturing Process:

J* Derivative Water Treatment Chemicals:


% of Total Domestic Consumption
Attributed to Water Sector:
Approximately 45%

Be Product Family:
Petroleum Byproducts

CAS No.: 79-06-1

foS Understanding Chemical Supply Chains g shelf Life: 6 Months

— RISK OF SUPPLY DISRUPTION (Assessed in 2022)


Water Treatment Applications


Domestic Manufacturing Locations (2019):

6, in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and

(^) International Trade (2019)

Primary Trading Partner (Imports): India
Primary Trading Partner (Exports): Mexico

Domestic Consumption (2019):

47 M kg

¦	Domestic Production (53 M kg)

¦	Imports for Consumption (5 M kg)

¦	Export of Domestic Production (12 M kg)


Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile

Product Description

Acrylamide (C3H5NO), an organic amide, is a widely used intermediate in production of polymers used across
numerous industries. It is the precursor to a class of polymers (polyacrylamides) used in water treatment.
Domestic production relies on supply of acrylonitrile, a petroleum-derived compound.

Use in Water Treatment

Use as a Precursor to Other Water Treatment Chemicals

Acrylamide is not used directly in water treatment. Acrylamide is the primary input for production of
polyacrylamides, which are used in water treatment as coagulants and dewatering agents. Water treatment is a
primary use of polyacrylamides.

Other Applications

Acrylamide is an intermediate in the production of many organic chemicals. Most uses rely on production of
polyacrylamide. Common applications include use in enhanced oil recovery, pulp and paper processing, mineral
processing, production of dyes and adhesives, cosmetics, and laboratory research (electrophoresis) (ATSDR,
2012; NCBI, 2022).

Primary Industrial Consumers

Historically, the majority (94%) of domestically produced acrylamide has been used in captive consumption to
produce polyacrylamide. Approximately 45% of the polyacrylamide produced has been intended for use in water
treatment. Other significant applications include use in enhanced oil recovery, pulp and paper processing, and
mineral processing (ATSDR, 2012; NCBI, 2022).

Manufacturing, Transport, & Storage

Manufacturing Process

There are multiple commercial methods available to produce acrylamide. All methods utilize acrylonitrile as the
starting material. Domestic production takes place primarily through one of two methods. In the first method,
acrylamide is produced by the hydrolysis of acrylonitrile with the bacterial enzyme nitrile hydratase. Bacteria
which utilize acrylonitrile among other nitriles as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen produce an enzyme
called nitrile hydratase which converts acrylonitrile into acrylamide. Nitrile hydratase is harvested from bacterial
cultures and used in the industrial production of acrylamide (Asano et al., 1982). In the second method,
acrylamide is produced by the hydrolysis of acrylonitrile through a catalytic hydration process whereby
acrylonitrile is reacted with heat and water in the presence of a copper-based catalyst. Various copper-based
catalysts may be used in this process. Most catalysts undergo degradation and lose activity over time, methods
to remedy this include the addition of metallic salts or oxides (ATSDR, 2012; NCBI, 2022).

Product Transport

Acrylamide, primarily supplied as a solution, is commonly transported by truck, rail, barge, and ship.

Storage and Shelf Life

Acrylamide is stable under recommended storage conditions, but may polymerize over time at room
temperature. When stored properly, acrylamide can have a shelf life of approximately six months, though
stability may depend upon many factors (SNF, 2019).

EPA 817-F-22-009 | December 2022


Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile

Domestic Production & Consumption

Domestic Production

Production data was collected from the 2020 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting
(CDR) for the year 2019, while trade data was collected from the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)
Dataweb, as shown in Table 1. While production and import data are specific to acrylamide, trade data for
exports include acrylamide as part of a broader trade category of acyclic amides, 'not elsewhere specified' (NES).

Table 1. Acrylamide Production and Trade Data Sources

Production and Trade Data


Data Source and Date



Domestic Production

2020 TSCA Chemical Data

CAS No.: 79-06-1


Imports and Exports

U.S. International Trade

HTS Code: 2924.19.1110
HS Code: 2924.19

Acrylamide (Imports)

Acyclic Amides, NES (Exports)

Total domestic manufacturing of acrylamide reported under the CDR was approximately 53 M kg in 2019 (EPA,
2020). Several leading manufacturers did not report production volume of acrylamide and claimed confidential
business information (CBI). SNF Holding, which claimed CBI, indicated status as a leading worldwide producer of
polyacrylamide, supplying 48% of worldwide consumption in 2020 (SNF, 2021). Reported domestic production of
acrylamide takes place at six facilities located in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia. Acrylamide is
primarily used as an intermediate in the manufacture of polyacrylamide, and the leading domestic
manufacturers of acrylamide utilize the majority of their production in captive consumption to manufacture
polyacrylamide (ATSDR, 2012).

Domestic Consumption

U.S. consumption of acrylamide in 2019 is estimated at 47 M kg. This estimate includes production of 53 M kg,
import of 5 M kg, minus export of 12 M kg (EPA, 2020; USITC, 2022a), as shown in Figure 1.

Domestic Consumption (2019):

47 M kg

Domestic Production (53 M kg) Imports
¦ for Consumption (5 M kg) Export of
Domestic Production (12 M kg)

Figure 1. Domestic Production and Consumption of Acrylamide in 2019

Trade &Tariffs

Worldwide Trade

Worldwide import and export data for acrylamide are reported through the World Bank's World Integrated
Trade Solutions (WITS), as a category representing acyclic amides and their derivatives, NES. In 2021, the U.S.
ranked fourth worldwide in total exports and second in imports of acyclic amides and derivatives, NES. In 2021,



Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile

Germany ranked first worldwide in total exports while South Korea ranked first in total imports (WITS, 2022), as
shown in Table 2. Export data for China, a significant producer of acrylamide, was not reported in 2021. Import
and export data specific to acrylamide is unavailable from the referenced sources.

Table 2. WITS Worldwide Export and Import of Acyclic Amides and their Derivatives, including
Acrylamide, in 2021

2021 Worldwide Trade
Acyclic Amides and their Derivatives (HS Code 2924.19)

Top 5 Worldwide Exporters

Top 5 Worldwide Importers


99 M kg

South Korea

87 M kg


68 M kg

United States

65 M kg

Saudi Arabia

68 M kg


55 M kg

United States

20 M kg


44 M kg


35 M kg


41 M kg

Domestic Imports and Exports

Domestic imports and export data are reported by USITC in categories for acyclic amides. Figure 2 summarizes
imports for consumption1 and domestic exports2 between 2015 and 2020. During this period, the overall
quantity of exports decreased, while the quantity of imports varied. The quantity of domestic exports
consistently exceeded imports for consumption. Over this five-year period, Mexico was the primary recipient of
domestic exports while India overtook China as the primary sources of imports (USITC, 2022a).


Domestic Trade of Acrylamide (Imports) and Acyclic Amides, NES (Exports)
HTS Code 2924.19.1110 (Imports), HS Code 2924.19 (Exports)

¦ ¦¦




I Imports from India
I Imports from China
Imports from Other Countries




I Exports to Mexico
Exports to Canada
Exports to Other Countries

Figure 2. USITC Domestic Import and Export of Acrylamide between 2015 and 2020

1	Imports for consumption are a subset of general imports, representing the total amount cleared through customs and entering
consumption channels, not anticipated to be reshipped to foreign points, but may include some reexports.

2	Domestic exports are a subset of total exports, representing export of domestic merchandise which are produced or manufactured in
the U.S. and commodities of foreign origin which have been changed in the U.S.



Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile


There is a 3.7% general duty on imports of acrylamide and a 25% additional duty on imports from China (USITC,
2022b), as summarized in Table 3.

Table 3. 2021 Domestic Tariff Schedule for Acrylamide

HTS Code

General Duty

Additional Duty - China
(Section 301 Tariff List)

Special Duty




Free (A, AU, BH, CL, CO, D, E, IL, JO, K, KR,
MA, OM, P, PA, PE, S, SG)3

Market History & Risk Evaluation

History of Shortages

There were repeated shortages of the primary raw ingredient of acrylamide, acrylonitrile, between 2000 and
2020 (Tullo, 2021). Acrylonitrile is produced from propylene, a byproduct of the petroleum refining process. The
majority of domestic petrochemical feedstocks for production of acrylonitrile are located in proximity to
refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Geographic concentration of the feedstock and production has,
over the years, resulted in supply bottlenecks. Periodic weather disturbances to manufacturing, including winter
storm Uri in February 2021 and Flurricane Ida in August 2021, temporarily halted manufacturing at primary
domestic acrylonitrile manufacturing locations along the Gulf Coast and led to declarations of force majeure.
This has resulted in persistent price increases and occasional shortages of downstream chemicals, including

Risk Evaluation

The complete risk evaluation methodology is described in Understanding Water Treatment Chemical Supply
Chains and the Risk of Disruptions (EPA, 2022). The risk rating is calculated as the product of the following three
risk parameters:

Risk = Criticality x Likelihood x Vulnerability
Criticality	Measure of the importance of a chemical to the water sector

Likelihood Measure of the probability that the chemical will experience a supply disruption in the
future, which is estimated based on past occurrence of supply disruptions

Vulnerability Measure of the market dynamics that make a chemical market more or less resilient to
supply disruptions

The individual parameter rating is based on evaluation of one or more attributes of the chemical or its supply
chain. The ratings and drivers for these three risk parameters are shown below in Table 4.

3 Symbols used to designate the various preference programs and trade agreements. A full list of special trade agreements and
associated acronyms can be found at https://help.cbp.eov/s/article/Article-310?laneuaee=en US and the General Notes Section of the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule https://hts.usitc.eov/current



Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile

Table 4. Supply Chain Risk Evaluation for Acrylamide

Risk Parameter Ratings and Drivers


ICriticality High

Vulnerability Low 1

Acrylamide is not used directly in
water treatment but serves as the raw
material for production of
polyacrylamide, used in coagulation
and sludge dewatering.

A history of price increases and force
majeure due to shortages of, or steep
increase in, the cost of a key input,
acrylonitrile, have impacted
availability and price of

Domestic manufacturing takes place
at multiple locations throughout the
southeastern U.S., and imports are
widely available.

Risk Rating: Moderate-Low

° I


ate-Low Moderaf


( \


i 0Q

1 1


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), 2012. Toxicological Profile for Acrylamide,
retrieved from

Asano, Y., Yasuda, T., Tani, Y. and Yamada, H., 1982. A new enzymatic method of acrylamide production.
Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, 46(5): 1183-1189.

EPA, 2020. 2020 TSCA Chemical Data Reporting, retrieved from

EPA, 2022. Understanding Water Treatment Chemical Supply Chains and the Risk of Disruptions, retrieved

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 2022. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6579,
Acrylamide, retrieved from

SNF, 2019. Safe Handling, Use, and Storage of Aqueous Acrylamide, retrieved from

SNF, 2021. 2020 Report on Environmental, Social, and Governance Criteria, retrieved from

Tullo, A., March 24, 2021. Texas petrochemical production is still thawing. Chemical & Engineering News,
99(11), retrieved from

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), 2022a. USITC DataWeb, retrieved from

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), 2022b. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Search, retrieved

World Integrated Trade Solutions (WITS), 2022. Trade Statistics by Product (HS 6-digit), retrieved from



Acrylamide Supply Chain - Full Profile