cyanide

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Related to cyanogenic: Cyanogenic glycosides

cyanide

(sī`ənīd'), chemical compound containing the cyano groupcyano group
, in chemistry, functional group that consists of a carbon atom joined to a nitrogen atom by a triple bond; it can be joined to an atom or another group by a single bond to the carbon atom. When a cyano group is joined to hydrogen, it forms hydrogen cyanide.
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, -CN. Cyanides are salts or esters of hydrogen cyanidehydrogen cyanide,
HCN, colorless, volatile, and extremely poisonous chemical compound whose vapors have a bitter almond odor. It melts at −14°C; and boils at 26°C;. It is miscible in all proportions with water or ethanol and is soluble in ether.
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 (hydrocyanic acid, HCN) formed by replacing the hydrogen with a metal (e.g., sodium or potassium) or a radical (e.g., ammonium or ethyl). The most common and widely used cyanides are those of sodium and potassium; they are often referred to simply as "cyanide." Both are white, crystalline, chemically active compounds. They are used as insecticides, in making pigments, in metallurgy (e.g., electroplating and case hardening), and in refining gold and silver by the cyanide processcyanide process
or cyanidation,
method for extracting gold from its ore. The ore is first finely ground and may be concentrated by flotation; if it contains certain impurities, it may be roasted.
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. Organic cyanides are called nitriles. The ethyl ester of hydrogen cyanide (CH3CH2CN) is called variously ethyl cyanide, propionitrile, propane nitrile, nitrilopropane, and cyanoethane; propane nitrile is the approved name in the nomenclature system for organic chemistry adopted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Most cyanides are deadly poisons that cause respiratory failure. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include an odor of bitter almond on the breath, dizziness, convulsions, collapse, and, often, froth on the mouth. In case of cyanide poisoning a doctor should be summoned immediately. If the poison was swallowed, vomiting should be induced. Artificial respiration should be used if needed.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cyanide

 

a salt of hydrocyanic acid. The cyanide salts of the alkali metals MCN and the alkaline-earth metals M(CN)2, where M is a metal, are thermally stable but are hydrolyzed in aqueous solutions. The cyanides of the heavy metals are thermally unstable and, with the exception of Hg(CN)2, are insoluble in water.

The oxidation of cyanides leads to the formation of cyanates; for example, 2KCN + O2 → 2KOCN. Many metals upon the action of an excess of potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide yield complexes. This proves useful in the extraction of gold and silver from ores (cyanidation, cyanide process):

4NaCN + 2Au + ½O2 + H2O → 2Na[ Au(CN)2] + 2NaOH

Gold and silver are separated from solution by electrodeposition or by the action of metallic zinc. Solutions of the cyanide complexes of gold, silver, zinc, and other metals are used in electroplating technology for the production of coatings. Cyanides are also used in organic synthesis, for example, in the production of nitriles, and as catalysts (in benzoin condensation).

Cyanides are extremely toxic. (For information on the effect of cyanides on the organism and on safety measures when handling them, seeHYDROCYANIC ACID.)

REFERENCES

Bobkov, S. S., and S. K. Smirnov. Sinil’naia kislota. Moscow, 1970.
Zil’berman, E. N. Reaktsii nitrilov. Moscow, 1972.
Tomilov, A. P., and S. K. Smirnov. Adipodinitril i geksamet ilendiamin. Moscow, 1974.
Williams, H. E. Cyanogen Compounds, 2nd ed. London, 1948.
Migrdichian, V. The Chemistry of Organic Cyanogen Compounds. New York, 1947.
Methoden der Organischen Chemie (Houben-Weyl), 4th ed., vol. 8. Stuttgart, 1952.

S. K. SMIRNOV

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

cyanide

[′sī·ə‚nīd]
(inorganic chemistry)
Any of a group of compounds containing the CN group and derived from hydrogen cyanide, HCN.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cyanide

, cyanid
1. any salt of hydrocyanic acid. Cyanides contain the ion CN-- and are extremely poisonous
2. another name (not in technical usage) for nitrile
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, the cyanogenic content of wild cultivars is as high as 2,000 ppm of dry weight (1), 200 times the safe level (<10 ppm) recommended by the World Health Organization (2).
We found an inverse pattern in ripe fruits and seeds, with ripe fruit failing to liberate cyanide, whereas ripe seeds were approximately half as cyanogenic as unripe fruit (Fig.
There is increased risk of liver damage in a population with tapioca as staple food due to the excess stress on liver to metabolize the hydrogen cyanide formed from cyanogenic glucosides.
Both plants had more steroids and flavonoids except for the two phytochemicals, anthraquinones and cyanogenic glycosides which were absent.
It's reported that small molecule metabolites secreted by plant roots were terpenoids, phenolics, steroids, alkaloids and cyanogenic glycosides, which not only inhibited the growth of plant, but also induced the dynamic changes of microbial communities (Vokou et al., 2006; Saraf et al., 2014).
Elderberry is generally a non-toxic plant however it contains cyanogenic glycosides that are converted to hydrogen cyanide during digestion; the consumption of immature plants or high quantities of fruits may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
There are so-called sweet varieties (aipim in Portuguese) and bitter varieties so named for the cyanogenic potential of both roots and leaves, the result of hydrolysis of constitutive cyanogenic glucosides present in widely varying concentrations depending on the variety (Bellotti & van Schoonhoven 1978).
Cyanide can be found in over 2,000 plant species, including fruits and vegetables that contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide on hydrolysis when ingested.
Euphorbiaceae: Cyanogenic glycosides are amino acid present in more than 2500 plant species, playing an important role in plant defense against herbivores due to their bitter taste and release of toxic hydrogen cyanide.