carbon disulfide

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carbon disulfide

carbon disulfide, CS2, liquid organic compound; it is colorless, foul-smelling, flammable, and poisonous. It can be prepared by direct reaction of carbon, e.g., as charcoal, with sulfur. It is a widely used solvent, e.g., for rubber, and is used to treat alkali cellulose in the viscose process (a source of rayon and cellophane). Carbon disulfide reacts with chlorine in the presence of a catalyst to form carbon tetrachloride.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Carbon Disulfide


CS2, a compound of sulfur and carbon. Carbon disulfide is a colorless liquid with a density of 1.2927 g/cm3, a boiling point of 46.26°C, and a melting point of – 112.1°C. It is only slightly soluble in water but is miscible with alcohol, ether, and chloroform in any proportions. Vapors of carbon disulfide ignite at 236°C. The compound is decomposed by strong oxidizing agents (KMnO4) with the separation of sulfur. Carbon disulfide reacts with SO3 to form carbonyl sulfide, COS. With an oxide of chlorine, carbon disulfide reacts to form COCl2 (phosgene):

CS2 + 3Cl2O = COCl2 + 2SOl2

Upon heating with metal oxides, carbon disulfide readily exchanges sulfur for oxygen.

At elevated temperatures, carbon disulfide reacts with H2 to form H2S. Carbon disulfide is produced industrially by passing sulfur vapors over hot charcoal:

C + 2S = CS2

Carbon disulfide is used in industry as a solvent and an extraction medium. However, most carbon disulfide is used in the production of viscose.


Carbon disulfide is poisonous. Poisoning can occur when producing viscose and carbon disulfide and when using CS2 as a solvent and extraction medium. Carbon disulfide easily penetrates the blood through the respiratory system and skin. Acute poisoning is produced by concentrations of carbon disulfide in the air of 1 milligram per liter and higher. Carbon disulfide poisoning derives from the compound’s effect on the central and peripheral nervous systems, blood vessels, and metabolic processes.

Mild cases of acute poisoning are characterized by a narcotic effect (dizziness, a feeling of intoxication) on the victim. If the poisoning has been severe, excitation is induced with the possible development of a coma. Psychological changes can result from repeated acute poisoning. Functional neurovascular disorders, psychological instability, and sleep disorders are characteristic of chronic poisoning. Encephalitis and polyneuritis may develop upon prolonged chronic poisoning by carbon disulfide.

Preventive measures to be taken in working with carbon disulfide include the hermetic sealing of equipment, the mechanization of production processes, and the use of ventilators. The respiratory organs and skin can be protected by wearing, for example, respirators, gloves, and aprons. Prior and periodic medical examinations are mandatory.


Drogichina, E. A. Professional’nye bolezni nervnoi sistemy. Leningrad, 1968.
Professional’nye bolezni, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

carbon disulfide

[¦kär·bən dī′səl‚fīd]
(organic chemistry)
CS2 A sulfide, used as a solvent for oils, fats, and rubbers and in paint removers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kasuya, "Three-component polyaddition of diamines, carbon disulfide, and diacrylates in water," Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, vol.
Cellulose (0.25 gm) was placed in well stopper round bottom flasks (50 ml) and then 0.75 ml of purified carbon disulfide was added followed by 1.5 ml NaOH (17.5%) with light hand shaking every 15 min for 1 hr at 30C.
A mixture of acid hydrazide 1 (2 mmol) was dissolved in hot ethanolic potassium hydroxide solution (0.11 gm KOH in 5.5 mL absolute ethanol) and carbon disulfide (23 mmol) in 50 mL Erlenmeyer flask.
Toluene, n-hexane, methanol, chloroform and carbon disulfide were selected as solvents for extracting hydrocarbons from the decarbonated and silicate-free oil shale.
To suspension of finely powdered potassium hydroxide (0.04 mol) in dry DMF (20 mL) at 0[degrees]C the cyanoacetohydrazide 3a,b (0.04 mol) was added for 30 min, carbon disulfide (3.04 mL, 0.04 mol) was added to the resulting mixture, stirring was continued for 12 h, and then hydrochloric acid (2 M, 20 mL was added dropwise, and stirring continued for additional 1 h.
Xiao, "The development on the technique of hydrolysis of carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide at low and ambient temperature," Hubei Chemical, vol.
Special nasal cells called GC-D cells seem to respond to the carbon disulfide in rodent breath, experiments by Munger and his colleagues reveal.
The process turns the woody fiber into the super-soft fabric buyers associate with bamboo, but it also requires carbon disulfide and bleaching to achieve--all chemicals linked to serious health problems.
Dimethyl sulfide, the substance that got me on this track, can add notes of quince or truffle, and it seems to be a prime ingredient in the "cooked corn" aromas fans associate with wellaged wines; 3-mercaptohexylacetate (3-MHA) can put passion fruit in your Sauvignon Blanc; dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) can contribute asparagus (and some of us like that); carbon disulfide can smell downright sweet.
Readers are treated to contextual anecdotes about the players in many of these dramas, ranging from those who developed the technologies (e.g., Michael Faraday for mercuric chloride), to those who studied the conditions (e.g., Jean-Martin Charcot for carbon disulfide neurotoxicity), to multiple pitiable descriptions of the victims of industrial progress (e.g., Clara, the benzol worker).
Formulations have been developed for neutralizing malathion, hydrogen cyanide, sodium cyanide, butyl isocyanate, carbon disulfide, phosgene gas, capsaicin in commercial pepper spray, chlorine gas, anhydrous ammonia gas; hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, methyl bromide, boron trichloride, fluorine, tetraethyl pyrophosphate, phosphorous trichloride, arsine, and tungsten hexafluoride.
The study team reported that additional neurotoxic compounds such as benzene, chlorinated solvents, and carbon disulfide, among others, were released in unknown quantities by the asphalt terminal and hot-mix asphalt plant.