Chem Explorers

The Dangerous World of Sodium Cyanide: Hazards Extraction and Waste Disposal

Sodium Cyanide – A Potentially Deadly Substance

Sodium cyanide is a highly toxic chemical that is widely used in various industries, including mining and chemical production. It is a colorless crystalline compound with the chemical formula NaCN.


Sodium cyanide is classified under several identifiers including CAS number 143-33-9, PubChem CID 8929, ChemSpider 8599, UN number 1689 – Class 6.1, ChEMBL 1200682, and RTECS number VZ7525000.


The formula for sodium cyanide is NaCN, consisting of a sodium ion (Na+) and a cyanide ion (CN-).


Sodium cyanide has a crystal structure with a similar structure to sodium chloride (NaCl).

It has pi-bonds between the carbon and nitrogen atoms, making it highly reactive. It can also exist in an isomer form known as sodium isocyanide (NaNC), which is less commonly used.


Sodium cyanide is a white crystalline solid with a bitter almond odor. It has a boiling point of 1,496 C, a melting point of 563.7 C, and a density of 1.59 g/cm at 20 C.

It is highly soluble in water, ethanol, and acetone, but poorly soluble in benzene and chloroform. Its refractive index is 1.520, and its flash point is approximately 79 C.


Sodium cyanide is produced through several processes, including the Castner-Kellner process, acid-base reaction, hydrolysis, detoxification, and hydrogen peroxide. The Castner-Kellner process involves passing ammonia gas through a solution of sodium metal in liquid ammonia, which results in the formation of sodium amide.

The sodium amide is then reacted with hydrogen cyanide to produce sodium cyanide. Acid-base reactions also produce sodium cyanide by reacting sodium hydroxide with hydrocyanic acid.


  • Sodium cyanide is widely used in the mining industry for the extraction of gold, silver, and other precious metals.
  • It is also used as a chemical feedstock in the production of various chemicals, including plastics, textiles, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Another use of sodium cyanide is in cyanide fishing, where cyanide is used to stun and capture marine fish for the aquarium trade.


Sodium cyanide is a potent poison that requires strict caution during handling.

It can cause serious harm to humans and animals, resulting in poisoning if ingested or inhaled. The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) is a document that provides critical information on first aid measures, personal safety measures, fire-fighting measures, storage instructions, accidental spill measures, waste disposal, manufacturers, suppliers, and purchase.

Sodium Gold Cyanide – The Extraction Process and Effects on Organisms

Sodium gold cyanide is a widely used chemical in the mining industry to extract gold from low-grade ores. It is a complex metallurgical technique that involves the use of cyanide ions in the presence of oxygen and water.

Extraction Process:

The cyanide process is the most common method used to extract gold from low-grade ores.

It involves the addition of sodium cyanide to the ore slurry, which dissolves the gold and forms a sodium gold cyanide complex. The resulting solution is then treated with zinc dust to precipitate out the gold.

The gold is then refined using a variety of methods, including electrowinning and smelting.

Effects on Organisms:

Sodium gold cyanide is highly toxic to organisms due to its ability to interfere with cellular respiration.

Specifically, it inhibits the cytochrome oxidase enzyme, which is critical in mediating the transfer of electrons in the electron transport chain. This inhibition leads to a reduction in energy production, resulting in cellular dysfunction and lactic acidosis, a condition in which the blood becomes too acidic.

Cyanide poisoning can lead to coma, convulsions, respiratory failure, and death.

First Aid Measures:

In case of cyanide poisoning, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.

  • If the cyanide is inhaled, move the victim to fresh air and call for medical assistance.
  • If it is on the skin, rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • If it has entered the eyes, flush them with water for at least 15 minutes, and seek medical attention.
  • If it has been ingested, do not induce vomiting, and immediately call for medical assistance.


Sodium cyanide and sodium gold cyanide are potent and widely used chemicals in various industries. Sodium cyanide is used in the extraction of various metals, while sodium gold cyanide is used in the mining industry to extract gold from low-grade ores.

The extraction process and handling of these chemicals require strict safety precautions to prevent harm to humans and animals. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of their identification, formula, structure, properties, production, uses, MSDS, effects on organisms, and first aid measures.

Chemical Feedstock – Preparation of Nitriles and Types of Chemical Compounds Derived

Chemical feedstocks are raw materials used in chemical synthesis to create a wide range of products, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals. One of the key compounds used for chemical feedstock is nitrile.

Nitriles are organic compounds that contain a cyano group (-CN) bonded to a carbon atom. They play a critical role in the production of a wide range of products, including cyanuric chloride and cyanogen chloride.

Preparation of Nitriles:

Nitriles can be prepared through several techniques, including the reaction of a nucleophile with a chemical bond in a saturated or unsaturated compound.

One common method involves the reaction of a primary amine with a halocarbon under basic conditions, such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. This reaction produces an intermediate isocyanide, which is then hydrolyzed to form a nitrile.

Types of Chemical Compounds Derived:

  • One of the most common chemical compounds derived from nitriles is cyanuric chloride. This compound is formed by the trimerization of cyanogen chloride (ClCN), which is a toxic gas at room temperature.
  • Cyanuric chloride is used as a precursor to a variety of industrial chemicals, including herbicides, disinfectants, and polymers.
  • Cyanogen chloride is also used as a chemical feedstock in the production of adiponitrile, which is then used to synthesize nylon 6,6, a type of synthetic polymer used in the manufacture of textiles, carpets, and automotive parts.


Nitriles are also essential constituents in the pharmaceutical industry. They are used to synthesize a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs, including beta-lactams, anti-cancer drugs, and anti-viral drugs.

One example of a nitrile-based drug is imatinib, which is used in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. It works by inhibiting the activity of a tyrosine kinase enzyme that is involved in the proliferation of cancer cells.

Poisoning – Effects on Body and First Aid Measures

Poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to toxic substances, such as chemicals or drugs, in a dose that exceeds the body’s tolerance level. Poisoning can have serious health effects, ranging from mild symptoms like headache and nausea to severe symptoms like convulsions, unconsciousness, and even death.

Effects on Body:

The effects of poisoning on the body can vary depending on the type and amount of toxic substance ingested.

Common symptoms of poisoning include headache, nausea, dizziness, nervousness, convulsions, unconsciousness, redness, pain, irritation, discomfort, acute pain, burning sensation, vomiting, diarrhea, and damage to the thyroid glands. Several factors can affect the intensity and duration of poisoning symptoms, such as the route of exposure, the concentration of the toxic substance, and the individual’s level of exposure.

Inhaled toxins, for example, tend to affect the respiratory system, while skin contact can lead to skin irritation and inflammation.

First Aid Measures:

The first step in treating poisoning is to remove the person from the source of exposure.

  • In cases of inhalation, move the individual to an area with fresh air and seek medical attention immediately.
  • For skin contact, remove the contaminated clothing and wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • In cases of eye contact, irrigate the eye with water continuously for at least 15 minutes.
  • If the toxic substance is ingested, do not induce vomiting and call for medical attention immediately.
  • If the individual has lost consciousness, start CPR until medical help arrives.

It is essential to note that the administration of first aid does not replace professional medical attention.

In cases of severe poisoning, the individual should be taken to the nearest emergency room or hospital for treatment.


Chemical feedstocks play a critical role in the production of a wide range of products, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, and industrial chemicals.

Nitriles are an essential constituent for producing chemicals such as cyanuric chloride and cyanogen chloride. Poisoning can have severe effects on the body, ranging from mild symptoms to life-threatening conditions.

The administration of first aid can help mitigate the toxicity of the substance, but professional medical attention is required in all cases of poisoning.

Personal Safety Measures – Breathing Protection, Protective Clothing, Eye Protection, and Tips for Handling

When handling hazardous chemicals, personal safety should always be the highest priority.

Exposure to toxic substances can cause serious harm to health, so taking proper preventive measures is essential. This article will discuss the importance of wearing breathing protection, protective clothing, eye protection, and tips for handling hazardous chemicals safely.

Breathing Protection:

Breathing protection is essential when dealing with hazardous chemicals, especially those that release toxic gases or vapors. Oxygen masks are used to protect the respiratory system from the inhalation of toxic substances.

Protective Clothing:

Protective clothing is essential to prevent contact with hazardous substances. The clothing should be made of materials that are resistant to chemical spills and provide adequate protection for the skin.

Gloves are one of the most commonly used protective clothing items that should be worn to prevent the chemical from coming into direct contact with the skin.

Eye Protection:

Eye protection is critical when handling hazardous chemicals.

Safety goggles or face shields should be worn to protect the eyes from chemical splashes or other harmful particles.

Tips for Handling:

  • When dealing with hazardous chemicals, certain precautions should be taken.
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are not allowed while working with hazardous substances.
  • The only consumables allowed are water, food, and medications.
  • Frequent hand washing is critical to prevent accidental transfer of the chemical to other parts of the body and limit contamination of the work environment.

Fire-Fighting Measures – Types of Extinguishers and Storage Instruction

Fire is another major hazard that is associated with handling hazardous chemicals. Firefighting measures should be in place for every facility to minimize the risk of catastrophic events.

Types of Extinguishers:

Different types of fire extinguishers are available in the market, each designed for a specific type of fire.

  • The hydrous agent is used to extinguish Class A fires, which are fires that involve ordinary combustible materials such as paper or wood.
  • Foam extinguishers are effective for Class A and Class B fires, which are fires that involve flammable liquids and gases.
  • Powder extinguishers are suitable for Class A, B, and C fires, which involve electrical equipment.
  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers are used for class B and C fires.

Water-based extinguishers should never be used on electrical equipment, as they can lead to electrocution.

Storage Instruction:

Proper storage containers should be used for hazardous chemicals.

The storage area should be well ventilated, and chemicals should be stored away from other substances that they may react with. Some hazardous chemicals may require refrigeration or special temperature-controlled environments.

It is essential to read the instructions and follow the guidelines for proper storage to reduce the risk of accidents.


Personal safety measures must be taken when handling hazardous chemicals to reduce the risk of injuries and exposure to toxic substances.

Breathing protection, protective clothing, eye protection, and tips for handling are crucial to minimize the risk of hazards. Firefighters need to choose the right type of fire extinguisher to combat fire hazards effectively, and chemicals should be stored in the proper containers following instructions for safe storage to avoid accidents.

Waste Disposal – Detoxification Process, Responsible Parties, and Procedures

Proper waste disposal is crucial when handling hazardous chemicals to protect the environment and prevent harm to living organisms. This article will discuss the detoxification process of hazardous waste, the responsible parties involved in waste disposal, and the procedures for the safe disposal of hazardous waste.

Detoxification Process:

When it comes to hazardous waste disposal, detoxification is an important step in rendering the waste less harmful to the environment. One common detoxification process involves the use of alkaline sodium hypochlorite.

This process involves adding the hypochlorite to the hazardous waste until it reaches a pH level of around 11. This alkaline environment breaks down the hazardous components, transforming them into less dangerous substances.

Responsible Parties:

The responsibility for waste disposal lies with the concerned person or organization handling the hazardous chemicals. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) departments within companies are primarily responsible for ensuring proper waste disposal practices are followed.

They oversee the implementation of waste management policies, train employees on proper disposal procedures, and monitor compliance with environmental regulations.


The disposal of hazardous waste follows specific procedures to ensure safe handling and prevent environmental contamination.

It is important to classify the waste properly based on its characteristics, such as toxicity, flammability, and reactivity. This classification helps determine the appropriate disposal method for each type of waste.

Hazardous waste pick-up services are available for the collection and proper disposal of hazardous waste. These services are typically provided by specialized waste management companies.

When using a waste pick-up service, it is important to ensure that the waste is properly packaged, labeled, and stored in appropriate containers following the guidelines provided by the service provider.

Sodium Cyanide Manufacturers and Suppliers:

Sodium cyanide is an important chemical used in various industries, particularly in mining for the extraction of gold.

Several companies are involved in the production and supply of sodium cyanide. Some notable manufacturers and suppliers include Noah Technologies Corporation, Continental Chemical USA, Dastech International Inc., Anami Organics, Jinan Great Chemical Co.Ltd., Alchemist Worldwide Ltd, Nkemchi Petroleum, Danny Cronje, and Research Chemicals Laboratories.

Current Market Conditions:

The price of sodium cyanide is influenced by factors such as gold rates, as it is predominantly used in gold extraction processes. The market conditions for sodium cyanide can fluctuate based on the demand for gold and other precious metals.

Additionally, the price per kilogram can vary among different manufacturers and suppliers due to factors such as production costs, geographical location, and quality control measures.


Proper waste disposal is essential when dealing with hazardous chemicals to ensure the safety of the environment and living organisms.

The detoxification process is integral to rendering hazardous waste less harmful. Responsible parties, such as concerned individuals or organizations with designated EHS departments, play a crucial role in waste disposal.

Following proper procedures, including the correct classification and packaging of hazardous waste, is necessary to ensure safe disposal practices. Additionally, sodium cyanide manufacturers and suppliers contribute to the market by providing this essential chemical for various industries, with market conditions influenced by factors such as gold rates.

In conclusion, proper waste disposal and personal safety measures are crucial when handling hazardous chemicals. Detoxification processes, such as alkaline sodium hypochlorite, help reduce the harm of hazardous waste.

Responsible parties, including concerned individuals and EHS departments, oversee waste disposal procedures to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Additionally, sodium cyanide manufacturers and suppliers play a vital role in various industries.

The importance of these topics lies in protecting the environment, mitigating health risks, and promoting responsible practices. Remember, following proper safety protocols and disposing of hazardous waste correctly are essential for the well-being of both humans and the environment.


  1. Why is proper waste disposal important?
  2. Proper waste disposal is important to protect the environment and prevent harm to living organisms.

  3. What is the detoxification process for hazardous waste?
  4. The detoxification process involves using alkaline sodium hypochlorite to render hazardous waste less harmful.

  5. Who is responsible for waste disposal?
  6. The responsible parties include concerned individuals and organizations with designated EHS departments.

  7. What are the procedures for hazardous waste disposal?
  8. Hazardous waste should be classified, properly packaged, and collected by specialized waste pick-up services.

  9. Who are some sodium cyanide manufacturers and suppliers?
  10. Some notable manufacturers and suppliers include Noah Technologies Corporation, Continental Chemical USA, and Dastech International Inc.

  11. What influences the price of sodium cyanide?
  12. The price of sodium cyanide can be influenced by factors such as gold rates and production costs.

Remember, prioritizing safety and responsible waste disposal practices not only protect our health but also preserve the environment for future generations.

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