From: Harry J. Elston <helston**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] The Safety Zone: [New post] Hydrocyanation without using hydrogen cyanide
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 06:57:35 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAJ2hcffaySDAwaxngued6UvhVwhLhDnwyV+c95PkVU21Sn02xg**At_Symbol_Here**

Good morning, Alan:

I think the point of the post is that the process risk is reduced by the removal of HCN as a reagent in the hydrocyanation reaction. Nitriles, as a class of compounds still present cyanide hazard if improperly handled.


On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 6:26 AM, Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I'll remind the group that all nitriles are cyanogens, either from spontaneous decomposition or by hepatic enzyme activity.

Read more in:

Borron SW: Cyanogenic Aliphatic Nitriles, in: Hall AH, Isom GE, Rockwood GA (eds),Toxicology of Cyanides: Experimental, Applied andCclinical Aspects,Wiley Blackwell, 2015,pp. 1666-180.

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 5:57 AM, Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

New post on The Safety Zone

Hydrocyanation without using hydrogen cyanide

by Jyllian Kemsley

From this week's C&EN, a method to conduct hydrocyanation without using hydrogen cyanide and--bonus!--with reversibility:

Xianjie Fang, Peng Yu, and Bill Morandi of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research use a nickel catalyst as a shuttle to pluck hydrogen and a cyano group from a donor nitrile and transfer them to an alkene to form a nitrile. The team shows the reaction is useful to make aryl nitriles and for functionalizing biomolecules such as tyrosine and estrone.

In addition, the transfer hydrocyanation is made reversible on demand by selecting starting reagents that control the thermodynamic equilibrium of the reaction-the nitriles can be reverted to complementary alkenes. The team uses this retrohydrocyanation to make styrene, terpene, and aliphatic alkene derivatives from nitriles.

The paper is in Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aae0427.

Credit: C&EN

Credit: C&EN

Jyllian Kemsley | February 23, 2016 at 7:30 am | Categories: Safety resources | URL:

Comment See all comments

Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH
Company Information
Twitter: **At_Symbol_Here**MidwestChemSafe

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.