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A nitrile is any organic compound which has a -C≡N functional group. The -C≡N functional group is called a nitrile group. In the -CN group, the carbon atom and the nitrogen atom are triple bonded together. The prefix cyano is used in chemical nomenclature to indicate the presence of a nitrile group in a molecule. A cyanide ion is a negative ion with the formula CN−. The -CN group is sometimes, less properly, referred to as a cyanide group or cyano group and compounds with them are sometimes referred to as cyanides.
Nitriles sometimes release the highly toxic CN− cyanide ion. See the article on cyanide for a discussion of biological effects and toxicity.
Hydrogen cyanide was first synthesized by K.W. Scheele in 1782 and he was killed in an attempt to get the anhydrous compound . J. L. Gay-Lussac was the first to prepare the pure acid in 1811 and Friedrich Wohler and Justus von Liebig were the first to prepare the first nitriles benzoyl cyanide and benzonitrile in 1832. Théophile-Jules Pelouze synthesized propionitrile in 1834.
Synthesis of nitriles
Nitriles can be prepared in organic synthesis by the following methods:
Reactions of nitriles
Nitrile groups in organic compounds can undergo various reactions when subject to certain reactants or conditions. A nitrile group can be hydrolyzed, reduced, or ejected from a molecule as a cyanide ion.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nitrile". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|