Title: Cyanogen
CAS Registry Number: 460-19-5
CAS Name: Ethanedinitrile
Additional Names: dicyan; oxalic acid dinitrile
Molecular Formula: C2N2
Molecular Weight: 52.03
Percent Composition: C 46.17%, N 53.84%
Line Formula: NºC-CºN
Literature References: Prepn by adding an aq soln of sodium or potassium cyanide to an aq soln of copper(II) sulfate or chloride: Janz, Inorg. Synth. 5, 43 (1957); from HCN by the use of CuO: Fierce, Millikan, US 2841472 (1958 to Pure Oil); from HCN and NO2: Fierce, Sander, Ind. Eng. Chem. 53, 985 (1961). Review: Brotherton, Lynn, Chem. Rev. 59, 841-883 (1959). Review of toxicology and human exposure: Toxicological Profile for Cyanide (PB98-101207, 1997) 291 pp.
Properties: Highly poisonous gas. Almond-like odor. Acrid and pungent when in lethal concns. Burns with pink flame having a bluish border. mp -27.9° (also reported as -34.4°). bp -21.17°. d4-21.17 0.9537. Heat of vaporization (liquid) 5.778 kcal/mole. Above 500° polymerizes to insol paracyanogen (CN)n. One vol of water dissolves about 4 vols of cyanogen gas. Also sol in alcohol, ether. Slowly hydrolyzed in aq soln giving oxalic acid and ammonia.
Melting point: mp -27.9° (also reported as -34.4°)
Boiling point: bp -21.17°
Density: d4-21.17 0.9537
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes, nose, upper respiratory system; lacrimation; cherry red lips; tachypnea, hyperpnea, bradycardia; headache, vertigo, convulsions; dizziness, loss of appetite, weight loss. Direct contact with liquid may cause frostbite. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 82.

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