Difference Between Acrylamide and Bisacrylamide

Key Difference – Acrylamide vs Bisacrylamide

As the two names acrylamide and bisacrylamide sound similar, their chemical structures also have some similarities. A Bisacrylamide molecule contains two acrylamide molecule joined through a -CH2- bridge via Nitrogen atom in the amide group. This link is formed by removing one hydrogen atom and then bonding to the carbon atom in the CH2 group. Both of these compounds are industrially very important and used in various applications. A combination of these two compounds is used in some applications. The key difference between Acrylamide and Bisacrylamide is that the chemical formula of Acrylamide is C3H5NO whereas the chemical formula of Bisacrylamide is  C7H10N2O2.

What is Acrylamide?

The IUPAC name of acrylamide is prop-2-enamide, and its chemical formula is C3H5NO. It is also known as acrylic amide. Acrylamide is an odorless, white crystalline solid. It is soluble in some solvents such as water, ethanol, ether, and chloroform. It decomposes when acids, bases, oxidizing agents, iron and iron salts are present in the medium. When the decomposition happens non-thermally, it forms ammonia (NH3), and the thermal decomposition produces carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxides of nitrogen.

Main difference - Acrylamide vs Bisacrylamide

Chemical Structure of Acrylamide

What is Bisacrylamide?

Bisacrylamide is also known as N,N’-Methylenebisacrylamide (MBAm or MBAA) and its molecular formula is C7H10N2O2. It is a cross-linking agent used in the formation of polymers such as polyacrylamide. It is also used in biochemistry since it is one of the compounds of the polyacrylamide gel. It can polymerize with acrylamide, and create cross-links between polyacrylamide chains, forming a network of polyacrylamide rather than unconnected linear chains of polyacrylamide.

Difference Between Acrylamide and Bisacrylamide

Chemical Structure of Bisacrylamide

What is the difference between Acrylamide and Bisacrylamide?

Characteristics of Acrylamide and Bisacrylamide


Acrylamide: The molecular formula of acrylamide is C3H5NO, and its chemical structure is as shown above.

Bisacrylamide: The molecular formula of bisacrylamide is C7H10N2O2, and its structure is as shown above.


Acrylamide: Acrylamide is a chemical used in some of the very important industrial processes such as manufacturing of papers, plastics, and dyes.  It is also used in water treatment plants to treat drinking water and wastewater. A Small quantity of acrylamide is used to produce some consumer products such as food packaging materials, and some adhesives.

Bisacrylamide: Bisacrylamide is used in microbiological applications; it can synthetically modify into new polymers and compounds having antibacterial properties. In addition, it is used to produce   polyacrylamide gel in electrophoresis gels. It creates cross-links between acrylamide and bis-acrylamide. The ratio between acrylamide and polyacrylamide determines the characteristics of the polyacrylamide gel. It can maintain the firmness of the gel; because it has the ability to create a network rather than linear chains.


Acrylamide: Although Acrylamide has been present in food since the cooking began it,was first detected in food in 2002 (April).

Acrylamide naturally forms in starchy food products at high-temperature cooking (at 120 o and low moisture); such as frying, roasting and baking. This happens due to a chemical reaction called “Maillard reaction” which ‘browns’ food and affects its taste.

It can also form from sugars and amino acids (mainly in asparagine) that are naturally present in many foods. In addition, acrylamide is found in potato crisps, French fries, biscuits, bread, and coffee. But, it does not occur in food packaging or in the environment. Moreover, it is also found in non-food materials such tobacco smoke.

Bisacrylamide: Bisacrylamide is a commercially available crosslinker used with acrylamide which is available as   a dry powder and a pre-mixed solution.

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