Hydrogen Cyanide

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  • Hydrogen cyanide (with the historical common name of Prussic acid) is a chemical compound with chemical formula HCN.

  • It is a colorless, extremely poisonous liquid that boils slightly above room temperature at 26 C (79 F).

  • Hydrogen cyanide is a linear molecule, with a triple bond between carbon and nitrogen.A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water is called hydrocyanic acid. The salts of hydrogen cyanide are known as cyanides.

  • HCN is produced on an industrial scale and is a highly valuable precursor to many chemical compounds ranging from polymers to pharmaceuticals.

  • The most important process is the Andrussow oxidation invented by Leonid Andrussow to prepare hydrogen cyanide in which methane and ammonia react in the presence of oxygen at about 1200 C over a platinum catalyst.

  • In the Shawinigan Process, hydrocarbons, e.g. propane, are reacted with ammonia to form HCN.
    Hydrogen Cyanide may be produced naturally by microorganisms as well as from the cyanogenic degradation of glycosides.

  • HCN is removed from gas mixtures containing hydrogen sulphide by treating the gas mixture with a catalyst comprising the elements nickel, uranium and thorium disposed as their oxides on a gamma alumina support.

  • An electrochemical measuring cell for detecting hydrogen cyanide by means of at least one measuring electrode and a counter electrode disposed in an electrolyte.

  • Al2O3 was able to be used as catalyst for continuous operation in the preparation of hydrogen cyanide from hydrocarbons and ammonia, preferably in the BMA method.

  • Process for removing HCN from ethanedinitrile by contacting hydrogen cyanide-containing ethanedinitrile with an organic reagent under formation of a covalent bond.

  • In the laboratory, small amounts of HCN are produced by the addition of acids to cyanide salts of alkali metals.

  • HCN is the precursor to sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide, which are used mainly in gold and silver mining and for the electroplating of those metals.

  • HCN is obtainable from fruits that have a pit, such as cherries, apricots, apples, and bitter almonds, from which almond oil and flavoring are made. Many of these pits contain small amounts of cyanohydrins such as mandelonitrile and amygdalin, which slowly release hydrogen cyanide.

  • HCN is formed in interstellar clouds through one of two major pathways via a neutral-neutral reaction and via dissociative recombination.

  • Sodium and Potassium cyanide & other cyanide salts may be made from hydrogen cyanide and these are widely used in metal processing including electroplating and hardening.

  • HCN have also been used as a fumigant to control pests in grain stores and also been used for the disinfestation of buildings, such as flour mills, warehouses and domestic houses.

  • Phytotoxicity from hydrogen cyanide fumigation was measured in several varieties of hawaiian cut flowers and foliage as a potential disinfestation treatment.

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