hydrogen cyanide


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hydrogen 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. Its water solution is a weak acid (see acids and basesacids and bases,
two related classes of chemicals; the members of each class have a number of common properties when dissolved in a solvent, usually water. Properties
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) commonly known as hydrocyanic acid or prussic acid. Its salts are called cyanidescyanide
, chemical compound containing the cyano group, -CN. Cyanides are salts or esters of hydrogen cyanide (hydrocyanic acid, HCN) formed by replacing the hydrogen with a metal (e.g., sodium or potassium) or a radical (e.g., ammonium or ethyl).
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. Hydrogen cyanide may be synthesized directly from ammonia and carbon monoxide or from ammonia, oxygen (or air), and natural gas. It is a byproduct of the production of coke from coal and is recovered (along with hydrogen sulfide) from coke-oven exhaust gases. It may also be prepared by reacting a cyanide salt, e.g., calcium cyanide, with a strong acid, e.g., sulfuric acid, or by thermal decomposition of formamide. Because impure hydrogen cyanide can undergo spontaneous explosive polymerization and decomposition, a small amount of stabilizer (usually phosphoric acid) is added to it. The principal use of hydrogen cyanide is in the manufacture of organic chemicals, e.g., acrylonitrile, methyl methacrylate, and adiponitrile, that are used in producing synthetic fibers and plastics. It is also used in the chemical laboratory, and is sometimes used in agriculture as a fumigant. Hydrogen cyanide is found in nature in some vegetable substances, e.g., bitter almond, peach stones, cherry and cherry laurel leaves, and sorghum; it is usually combined in glycoside molecules (see sugarsugar,
compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen belonging to a class of substances called carbohydrates. Sugars fall into three groups: the monosaccharides, disaccharides, and trisaccharides. The monosaccharides are the simple sugars; they include fructose and glucose.
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) and is released when they are broken down by enzymes during metabolism.

hydrogen cyanide

[′hī·drə·jən ′sī·ə‚nīd]
(inorganic chemistry)
References in periodicals archive ?
The concentration of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) was measured by a UV/Vis spectrophotometer according to the Iso-nicotinic-acid-3-methyl-1-phenyl-5-pyrazolone spectrophotometric method as described in the Chinese national standard Determination of hydrogen cyanide of the Stationary source emission HJ/T28-1999 [15].
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.
They claim the council's report suggests Zane was also poisoned by hydrogen cyanide and that the council KNEW the old landfill site was a risk to residents but did nothing about it.
In that case, Alvin-based Ascend Performance Materials, a producer of carpet and textile fibers, reported a venting issue that released 65 pounds of hydrogen cyanide.
There have been no proven cases of hydrogen cyanide being used in chemical warfare.
These provisions concern bifenthrin for Category 18 products (not included in Annexes I, IA and IB), hydrogen cyanide and cis-Tricos-9-ene (included in Annex I).
Smoke contains 4,000 chemicals, 43 known to be cancer forming including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, tar, hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison) and carbon monoxide.
The toxic gases most commonly formed by combining the chemicals in household cleaners are hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen cyanide (4).
Once called Prussic acid, hydrogen cyanide (HCN) was first isolated from the Prussian blue dye in 1783 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
Written by Christianson, an author and investigative reporter with a particular interest in the history of imprisonment and gas chambers, this book explores in-depth the development of hazardous gases such as chlorine, phosgene, mustard gas, lewisite, hydrogen cyanide, and a variety of nerve agents.
However, new research by a team led by William Randel, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, used satellite readings to show that hydrogen cyanide, a tell-tale ingredient of Asian pollution, was being thrust up by exceptional updrafts of air inside the monsoon's clouds.
According to the Military Times report, troops may have been exposed to dangerous poisons including arsenic, freon, carbon monoxide, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfuric acid, xylene and benzene, an aircraft fuel known to cause leukemia.