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Copper(I) cyanide: Wikis


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Copper(I) cyanide
IUPAC name
Other names Cuprous cyanide
CAS number 544-92-3 Yes check.svgY
PubChem 11009
EC number 208-883-6
RTECS number GL7150000
Molecular formula CuCN
Molar mass 89.563 g/mol
Appearance white to greenish powder
Density 2.92 g/cm3 [1]
Melting point

474 °C, 747 K, 885 °F

Solubility in water negligible
Solubility insoluble in ethanol, cold dilute acids;
soluble in NH4OH, KCN
EU Index 006-007-00-5
EU classification Very toxic (T+)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R26/27/28, R32, R50/53
S-phrases (S1/2), S7, S28, S29, S45, S60, S61
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point Non-flammable
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Copper(I) cyanide (CuCN), also copper cyanide, cuprous cyanide, or cupricin is a white to cream colored or sometimes greenish powdery solid that is insoluble in water. Its chemical formula is CuCN. It is a poison that reacts violently with magnesium. When heated to decomposition, it emits very toxic fumes containing hydrogen cyanide, but it is not flammable itself.

Cuprous cyanide is commercially available. It may be prepared by reducing copper(II) sulfate with sodium cyanide, giving cyanogen gas and sodium sulfate as byproducts:[2]

2 CuSO4 + 4 NaCN → 2 CuCN + (CN)2 + 2 Na2SO4

Cuprous cyanide was used as a catalyst in polymerizations, in electroplating of copper and iron, and as insecticide, fungicide, and biocide in marine paints.


  1. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0070494398
  2. ^ J. V. Supniewski and P. L. Salzberg (1941), "Allyl Cyanide", Org. Synth.,  ; Coll. Vol. 1: 46  

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