Maleic Anhydride

pp 41-102

Reactions of Functional Groups

  • B. C. TrivediAffiliated withAshland Chemical Company
  • , B. M. CulbertsonAffiliated withAshland Chemical Company

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The unsaturated linkage in maleic anhydride is activated due to conjugation with the carboxyl grouping. As a result, not only does maleic anhydride undergo reactions that are typical of an olefin, but, in addition, it enters into reactions such as nucleophilic addition. The electrophilic character of the double bond produced by conjugation plays a significant role in a number of reactions of MA including Diels-Alder, some photoreactions, and so on. Thus, in addition to its internal anhydride function, MA possesses an activity at the very reactive double bond and this property separates it from other anhydrides such as phthalic, succinic, etc. The complete importance of the olefin linkage is hard to ascertain in both monomeric and polymeric products derived from MA. It is suffiicient to say that this unsaturation has played a major role in the products of various industries particularly in paints, varnishes, surfactants, lubricants, and agricultural products, just to name a few.