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Cyanide Formula

Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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Cyanide Chemical Formula

A cyanide is a chemical substance with the CN group in its name. The cyano group is made up of a carbon atom that is triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom.

The cyanide group is found as the anion CN in inorganic cyanides. Sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide are exceedingly deadly soluble salts. Hydrocyanic acid, often known as hydrogen cyanide or HCN, is a highly volatile liquid produced on a huge scale in the industrial sector. It's made from cyanide salts that have been acidified.

Nitriles are the common name for organic cyanides. The CN group in nitriles is joined to carbon by a covalent bond. The cyanide group is linked to methyl in acetonitrile, for example (CH3). Although nitriles do not normally produce cyanide ions, cyanohydrins do, making them quite hazardous.

Properties of Cyanide 

Cyanide chemical formula: CN

Chemical formula of Hydrogen Cyanide: HCN

Molecular weight of Hydrogen Cyanide: 27.0253 g/mol

Density of Hydrogen Cyanide: 0.6876 g/cm3

Boiling point of Hydrogen Cyanide: 25.6 °C

Melting point of Hydrogen Cyanide: -13.4 °C

Cyanide Structure 


Hydrogen Cyanide Formula/Hydrocyanic Acid Formula

The chemical compound hydrogen cyanide, often known as prussic acid, has the formula HCN. It's a colourless, very deadly, and combustible liquid that boils at 25.6°C (78.1°F), a little above room temperature. HCN is a highly valued precursor to a wide range of chemical compounds, from polymers to medicines, and is generated on a large scale.

Application of Hydrogen Cyanide Formula

HCN is a precursor to sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide, both of which are commonly employed in gold and silver mining and electroplating. A variety of important chemical compounds are created from HCN via the intermediacy of cyanohydrins, including the monomer methyl methacrylate from acetone, the amino acid methionine via the Strecker synthesis, and the chelating agents EDTA and NTA. HCN is added to butadiene via the hydrocyanation process to produce adiponitrile, a precursor to Nylon-6,6.

Sodium Cyanide Formula

NaCN compound name is sodium cyanide formula. The toxic chemical sodium cyanide (NaCN) has the formula NaCN. It's a water-soluble white solid. Cyanide has a strong affinity for metals, which contributes to its severe toxicity. Its major application, gold mining, takes advantage of its strong metal reactivity. It's a medium-strength foundation. It produces the poisonous gas hydrogen cyanide when exposed to acid:

NaCN + H2SO4 → HCN + NaHSO4

Calcium Cyanide Formula

Calcium cyanide, often known as black cyanide, is an inorganic chemical with the formula Ca(CN)2 that is the calcium salt of hydrocyanic acid. Although rare, the pure form is a white solid; commercial samples might be black-grey in colour. It is easily hydrolyzed to release hydrogen cyanide (even in humid air). It is highly hazardous, just like other cyanides.

Applications Calcium Cyanide Formula

In the mining business, calcium cyanide is nearly entirely used. Many leaching or vat operations to extract precious metals such as gold and silver from their ores use it as an economical supply of cyanide. It accomplishes this by generating coordination complexes with the metals, allowing them to be separated from the ores. It's available in two forms: flake form and liquid form. The severe toxicity of calcium cyanide when touched, inhaled, or ingested makes it an effective rodenticide. It's been employed to control the number of Indian crested porcupines, for example (Hystrix indica). Its toxicity has been used as a pesticide in the past.

Ammonium Cyanide Formula

The inorganic compound ammonium cyanide (NH4CN) is an unstable inorganic chemical.

Uses Ammonium Cyanide Formula

In organic synthesis, ammonium cyanide is commonly employed. It cannot be exported or sold commercially due to its instability.

Silver Cyanide Formula

The chemical molecule AgCN stands for silver cyanide. It's a white solid that forms when Ag+ containing solutions are treated with cyanide, which is used to recover silver from solution in some systems. In silver plating, silver cyanide is employed.

Reactions of Silver Cyanide Formula

When sodium cyanide is added to a solution containing Ag+, AgCN precipitates. With the addition of more cyanide, the precipitate dissolves into linear [Ag(CN)2](aq) and [Ag(CN)3]2(aq) forms. Different ligands, such as ammonia or tertiary phosphines, make silver cyanide soluble in other fluids.

When silver cyanides react with other anions, they produce structurally complicated compounds. Luminescence is a property of some silver cyanides.

Applications of Cyanide Formula

1. Mining 

Cyanide is mostly used in gold and silver mining because it aids in the dissolution of these metals and their ores. Finely ground high-grade ore is combined with cyanide (at a ratio of around 1:500 parts NaCN to ore) in the cyanide process; low-grade ores are stacked into heaps and sprayed with a cyanide solution in the cyanide process (at a ratio of about 1:1000 parts NaCN to ore).

Hydrolysis of aqueous cyanide occurs quickly, especially in the presence of sunlight. If mercury is present, it can mobilise some heavy metals. Arsenopyrite (FeAsS) is a mineral that is similar to iron pyrite (fool's gold) but with arsenic replacing half of the sulphur atoms. Inorganic cyanide reacts similarly with gold-containing arsenopyrite ores. In electroplating, cyanide is used to stabilise metal ions in the electrolyte solution before they are deposited.

2. Medical Uses 

The cyanide substance Sodium nitroprusside is primarily used in clinical chemistry to quantify urine ketone bodies as part of a diabetic patient's follow-up. It is sometimes used as a vasodilator in vascular research and in emergency medical conditions to generate a fast reduction in blood pressure in people. As a result of the purification procedure, the cobalt in counterfeit vitamin B12 has a cyanide ligand, which must be eliminated by the body before the vitamin molecule can be activated for biochemical use. A copper cyanide compound was temporarily utilised by Japanese medics to treat tuberculosis and leprosy during World War I.

3. Illegal fishing 

Cyanides are unlawfully used to capture live fish for aquariums and seafood markets near coral reefs. The practice is divisive, risky, and harmful, but it is motivated by the lucrative exotic fish market.

4. Pest Control

In the United States, M44 cyanide devices are used to kill coyotes and other canids.  In New Zealand, cyanide is also used to control pests, particularly possums, an imported mammal that threatens native species and spreads tuberculosis among livestock. Possums can become bait shy, but bait shyness can be reduced by using cyanide pellets. Native species, especially the rare kiwi, have been reported to succumb to cyanide poisoning.

5. Niche Uses 

During the final finishing stage of a cast bronze sculpture, potassium ferrocyanide is added to achieve a blue tint. It produces a very dark shade of blue when used alone, and it is frequently blended with other compounds to get the appropriate tint and hue. It's applied with a torch and a paintbrush while wearing the usual safety gear for patina work: rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator. The actual amount of cyanide in the combination varies depending on the foundry's recipe.

Cyanide is also employed in the production of jewellery and in some types of photography, such as sepia toning.

Ships are fumigated using cyanides as pesticides. Cyanide salts are used to kill ants and have been used as rat poison in the past (the less toxic poison arsenic is more common).

Despite their poisonous reputation, cyanide and cyanohydrins have been shown to improve germination in a variety of plant species.


A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the CN group. A carbon atom is triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom to form the cyano group.

Inorganic cyanides contain the cyanide group as the anion CN. The soluble salts sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide are extremely lethal. Hydrocyanic acid, often known as hydrogen cyanide or HCN, is a highly flammable liquid that is widely used in industry. Acidified cyanide salts are used to create it.

FAQs on Cyanide Formula

1. What Happens If You Come Into Contact With Cyanide?

Ans: Early effects (anxiety, headache, faintness, vertigo, confusion, hyperventilation, tachypnea, and increased heart rate) and later effects (coma, convulsions, paralysis, hypoventilation, hypotension, bradycardia, ventricular arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, and death) occur regardless of how cyanide enters the body.

2. What is the Purpose of Sodium Cyanide?

Ans: Commercially, sodium cyanide is used for fumigation, electroplating, gold and silver extraction from ores, and chemical manufacture.

3. What is the Name of the Hydrocyanic Acid Formula?

Ans: Hydrocyanic acid, also known as prussic acid, is cyanide in water. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish scientist, discovered it in 1782 when he made it from the pigment Prussian blue.