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Pyrrolidinones are 5-membered organic nitrogen heterocycles containing a carbonyl group. Some of the well-known examples include cyclic amides (gamma-butyrolactams) like 2-pyrrolidinones and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (NMP). Pyrrolidinone compounds are commercially manufactured by the reaction of butyrolactone with ammonia derivatives.
Many pyrrolidinone derivatives are reported to possess significant biological and pharmacological activities which include anticonvulsant, and respiratory stimulation activity. In the chemical industry, pyrrolidone derivatives are used as the starting materials for the preparation of many organic compounds. Similarly, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone is a popular solvent for many organic transformations and it is used to dissolve polymers due to their high solvating property. N-Vinylpyrrolidone is the monomer of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP, povidone), a water-soluble polymer with excellent wetting properties and film-forming ability, and is used for coatings or as an additive to coatings. PVP is used in a wide variety of applications in medicine, pharmacy, cosmetics, and industrial production.