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Acrylamide (or acrylic amide) is a chemical compound with the chemical formula C3H5NO.
Its IUPAC name is prop-2-enamide. It is a white odourlesscrystalline solid, soluble in water, ethanol, ether, and chloroform. Acrylamide decomposes in the presence of acids, bases, oxidizing agents, iron, and iron salts. It decomposes non-thermally to form ammonia, and thermal decomposition produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Acrylamide is prepared on an industrial scale by the hydrolysis of acrylonitrile by nitrile hydratase.Most acrylamide is usedsynthesize polyacrylamides,
which find many uses as water-soluble thickeners. These include use in wastewater treatment, gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), papermaking, ore processing, tertiary oil recovery, and the manufacture of permanent press fabrics. Some acrylamide is used in the manufacture of dyes and the manufacture of other monomers.
The discovery of acrylamide in some cooked starchy foods in 2002 prompted concerns about the carcinogenicity of those foods. As of 2014 acrylamide is still in debate for its carcinogenicity links in humans.