The unique nature of maleic anhydride's chemical structure
results in a highly reactive and versatile raw material. Its
unsaturated double bond and acid anhydride group lend themselves
to a variety of chemical reactions. Maleic anhydride's largest
use today is in the production of unsaturated polyester resins.
These resins are used primarily in fibre-reinforced plastics;
materials with a wide and growing range of applications in
boating, automobile and construction industries.
Another significant use of maleic anhydride is in the manufacture
of alkyd resins, which are in turn used in paints and coatings.
Other applications where maleic anhydride is used include
the production of agricultural chemicals, malic acid, copolymers,
fumaric acid, lubricant additives, surfactants and plasticizers.
Future applications are anticipated to be numerous given
the versatility and usefulness of this product.