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prussic acid

Product name prussic acid
Synonyms hydrocyanic acid
hydrogen cyanide
GOST no data
CAS 74-90-8

Hydrogen cyanide is a clear, colorless, highly volatile liquid with the odor of bitter almonds. It is fully miscible with water, alcohols, ethers, esters, aromatic hydrocarbons, CCl4 and most other organic solvents. In liquid phase and in solutions it forms linear associates due to hydrogen bonds H...N. A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water is called hydrocyanic acid or prussic acid. Prussic acid is a weak acid (weaker than carbonic acid). The salts of hydrogen cyanide are known as cyanides. Hydrogen cyanide is a highly toxic compound.


Mainly hydrogen cyanide is produced by two methods:

  • by oxidative ammonolysis of methane at 1000°C in the presence of catalyst (Pt, Pt-Rh or Pt-Ir):

    CH4 + NH3 + 1.5O2 --> HCN + 3H2O + 474kJ/mol

  • by the reaction of ammonia with methane at 1200°C on platinum catalyst:

    CH4 + NH3 --> HCN + 3H2


  • hydrogen cyanide is produced commercially and used for manufacture of acrylates, acrylonitrile, adiponitrile, amino acids, chlorocyan, hydroxynitriles and other chemical compounds;
  • in production of metal cyanides (e.g. sodium cyanide is used to extract gold from ore);
  • as a fumigant in agriculture;
  • in tempering steel, dyeing, explosives, engraving;
  • in the manufacturing of rodenticides, pesticides, synthetic fibers and electroplating solutions;

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC DOS
    Chemical structure of hydrogen cyanide

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