| 44.0559 g/mol|
colourless crystalline solid
Ammonium cyanide is an unstable inorganic compound with the formula NH4CN.
Ammonium cyanide Wikipedia
Ammonium cyanide is generally used in organic synthesis. Being unstable, it is not shipped or sold commercially.
Ammonium cyanide is prepared in solution by bubbling hydrogen cyanide into aqueous ammonia at a low temperature
HCN + NH3
(aq) → NH4
It may be prepared by the reaction of calcium cyanide and ammonium carbonate:
→ 2 NH4
CN + CaCO3
In dry state, ammonium cyanide is made by heating a mixture of potassium cyanide or potassium ferrocyanide with ammonium chloride and condensing the vapours into ammonium cyanide crystals:
KCN + NH4
Cl → NH4
CN + KCl
Ammonium cyanide decomposes to ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, often forming a black polymer of hydrogen cyanide:
CN → NH3
It undergoes double decomposition reactions in solution with a number of metal salts.
It reacts with glyoxal, producing glycine (aminoacetic acid):
CN + (CHO)2
COOH + HCN
Reactions with ketones yield aminonitriles, as in the first step of the Strecker amino acid synthesis:
CN + CH3
)CN + H2
The solid or its solution is highly toxic. Ingestion can cause death. Exposure to the solid can be harmful as it decomposes to highly toxic hydrogen cyanide and ammonia.
Elemental composition: H 9.15%, C 27.23%, N 63.55%.
Ammonium cyanide may be analyzed by heating the salt and trapping the decomposed products: hydrogen cyanide and ammonia in water at low temperatures. The aqueous solution is analyzed for cyanide ion by silver nitrate titrimetric method or an ion-selective electrode method, and ammonia is measured by titration or electrode technique.