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What is Hydrocyanic Acid?

The Hydrocyanic acid is the solution of hydrogen cyanide and water that is generally poisonous in nature and the other name for chemical substance is prussic acid. The chemical formula for the compound is HCN and with a molecular weight 27.03 g/mol. This is a planar molecule with one triple bond between carbon and nitrogen and single bond between hydrogen and carbon.

Hydrocyanic Acid Formula

Hydrocyanic Acid Chemical Formula

The natural occurrence of the chemical substance can be felt in certain fruits like cherries, apples, or apricots etc. It can be prepared in the laboratory as well by mixing acids to cyanide salts of alkali metals as given below –

HCl + NaCN → HCN + NaCl

For the industrial grade, it can be prepared by the oxidation reaction of the methane and ammonia together at 1200 degree Celsius with the help of one platinum catalyst.

2 CH4 + 2 NH3 + 3 O2 → 2 HCN + 6 H2O

Hydrocyanic Acid Molecular

It is pale yellow and transparent in color and has a density of 0.687 g/mL approximately. The different smell of bitter almonds is similar to HCN and indicates the presence of poisonous content inside. If you would look at the chemical properties of the molecule then it is a weak acid and ionized quickly in water to release H+, H3O+ and CN- ions.

HCN + H2O → H3O+ + CN-

Instead of looking at the toxicity of the chemical, HCN can be used as a reagent for the production of a variety of industrial chemicals and polymer nylon too. It can be used as pesticides or warfare agents too.

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