Sodium Cyanide

Topics: Cyanide, Hydrogen cyanide, Cassava Pages: 3 (704 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Cyanide (toxin)

Name: Kasheba Wright Course: Chemistry in our daily Lives
Cyanide is a mitochondrial toxin that is among the most rapidly lethal poisons known to man. Used in both ancient and modern times as a method of execution, cyanide causes death within minutes to hours of exposure. It is the salts of hydrocyanic acid, it is rapidly acting chemical that can exist in various forms. Cyanide can be a colorless gas, such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogens chloride (CNCL) or a crystal form that is water-soluble such as sodium cyanide (NaCN) or potassium chloride (KCN) and poorly water-soluble mercury, copper, gold, and silver cyanide salts. The most dangerous compounds are hydrogen cyanides (also known as hydrocyanic acid or prussic acid) and cyanogens, which are stored under pressure as liquid but which are used as gases, such as cyanogens chloride and bromide are gases with potent pulmonary irritant effect. Hydrocyanic acid gas is liberated from solid cyanides by the action of acids, water or even water vapor. A number of cyanide-containing compounds, known as cyanogens and may release cyanide during metabolism. Cyanide are also found in over 2000 plant species as a group of chemical compound call cyanogenic glycosides are a group of chemical compounds which occur naturally in over 2 000 plant species. There are at least 25 cyanogenic glycosides known to be found in edible parts of plants. Cyanogenic glycosides alone are relatively non-toxic. However, as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis by beta-glucosidase following maceration of plant tissues as they are eaten, or by the gut microflora, cyanogenic glycosides are broken down to release hydrogen cyanide which is toxic to both animals and humans. The potential toxicity of a cyanogenic plant depends primarily on its capacity to produce hydrogen cyanide.

Cyanogenic glycosides (Linamarin)...
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