What is Hydrocyanic Acid?
Hydrocyanic acid is a liquid of hydrogen cyanide in water. The chemical formula of Hydrocyanic acid is HCN. Hydrocyanic acid is a colorless liquid whose vapor is lighter than air and dissipates rapidly. It is usually sold commercially as an aqueous solution containing 2 to 10% hydrogen cyanide.The aqueous solutions of hydrogen cyanide decomposes slowly to form ammonium formate. It is very poisonous colourless gas with a characteristic fragrance of bitter almonds. It is a dangerous transparent liquid its storage and transport are prohibited.
Other names – Prussic acid, acetonitrile, formonitrile
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||27.0253 g/mol|
|Boiling Point||25.6 °C|
|Melting Point||-13.4 °C|
Hydrocyanic Acid Structure – HCN
Physical Properties of Hydrocyanic Acid – HCN
|Odour||Bitter almond smell|
|Heat capacity||35.9 J K−1 mol−1|
|Hydrogen Bond Donor||1|
|Solubility||Miscible in water and ethanol|
Chemical Properties of Hydrocyanic Acid – HCN
- Hydrocyanic acid reacts with base like sodium hydroxide forms sodium cyanide and water. The chemical equation is given below.
HCN + NaOH → NaCN + H2O
- Hydrocyanic acid reacts with potassium hydroxide forms potassium cyanide and water. The chemical equation is given below.
HCN + KOH → H2O + KCN
Uses of Hydrocyanic Acid – HCN
- Used as a fugiment to kill pests such as rodents in warehouses, grain storage bins, greenhouses and holds of ships where its high toxicity and ability to penetrate obscure spaces are advantageous.
- Used in the manufacture of cyanide salts, acrylonitrile and dyes. It is also used as a horticultural fumigant.
- Used as a highly valuable precursor in the production of several chemicals.