- Published on Aug 1, 2014
- A cyanide is any chemical compound that contains monovalent combining group CN. This group, known as the cyano group, consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom.
In inorganic cyanides, such as sodium cyanide, NaCN, this group is present as the negatively-charged polyatomic cyanide ion (CN-); these compounds, which are regarded as salts of hydrocyanic acid, are highly toxic. The cyanide ion is isoelectronic with carbon monoxide and with molecular nitrogen. Most cyanides are highly toxic.
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