The actual process for making polymethyl methacrylate starts by reacting acetone with hydrogen cyanide to produce acetone cyanohydrin
, which is then converted to methyl methacrylate, which in turn is then polymerized to yield polymethylmethacrylate.
PTTAC's AN plant is the world's first propane-process plant, which uses propane directly as feedstock, and its MMA plant is an acetone cyanohydrin
(ACH) process plant, which uses byproduct hydrogen cyanide from the AN plant as feedstock.
The site also provide products for other companies in the Tees Valley by establishing joint ventures with Ineos and Lucite International, for the conversion of its by products into refined Acetonitrile and Acetone Cyanohydrin
However, it contains a cyanogenic glucoside, linamarin, that is hydrolyzed in two steps: the linamarin is first hydrolyzed to acetone cyanohydrin
and glucose (catalyzed by the enzyme linamarase), and then the acetone cyanohydrin
is hydrolyzed to acetone and hydrogen cyanide (HCN).
Further joint ventures with Inoes and Lucite International saw plants built on the site for Acetonitrile and Acetone Cyanohydrin
which uses BASF by products as raw materials for further production.