Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: nitrate from cyanide?
John paul III
Hazard to Others

Posts: 110
Registered: 28-4-2018
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 12:21
nitrate from cyanide?

Is there a way to oxidize cyanide to nitrate? Im toying with that idea of making gunpowder from omnipresent natural resources the doesnt involve pissing into a compost pile for a year. Potassium cyanide can be made by reacting potash and charcoal in presence of combustion gases in a 1200°C furnace such as the one built by primitive technology. Cyanide can be transformed into ammonia by dissolving it in hot water, but the consensus seems to be that oxidation of ammonia is too difficult for an amateur, much less in a low tech setting

[Edited on 28-3-2020 by John paul III]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
International Hazard

Posts: 2711
Registered: 3-11-2013
Member Is Offline

Mood: Big

[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 14:30

Oxidation of urine has been practiced for centuries:

Quote: Originally posted by bnull  
you can always buy new equipment but can't buy new fingers.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
National Hazard

Posts: 971
Registered: 29-9-2013
Location: Online
Member Is Offline

Mood: Outline

[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 14:35

Here is a thread for your viewing pleasure:

That's the electrochemical conversion of ammonia and potassium hydroxide to potassium nitrate. It's a fairly simple and room temperature process. One member (who is no longer here) sent me a PM detailing how he copied the original reaction described in the reference (in the thread):

"I repeated the experiment by Traube and followed their instructions word by word. I was able to get 21g of Sodium Nitrate from the first run. I did experiment number 2 from their original article. "

The potassium hydroxide that I used could conceivably be made from potassium ash and quicklime.

The Ostwald Process has some undeserved reputation for being difficult, in my opinion. There are other threads here (including a stickied one) on different versions of it, but mainly Heptylene and myself contributed to this one:

I think that between the two of us, there is enough information posted in that thread for anyone to duplicate this process. The overall idea is: bubble air through ammonia solution of specific concentration, heat over a catalyst in a short quartz tube, pass process gasses through a short coiled tube that is submerged in an ice bath (captures excess ammonia and water moisture), oxidize NO to NO2 in a chamber, and then...collect N2O2 as a refrigerated liquid, or bubble it through a tower to create nitric acid.

I put some time/effort/money into that project with the hopes that other people could simply duplicate my setup without having to spend their own time, effort, and money.

If you want to synthesize the ammonia as well, I suspect that there are ways that the Haber Process can work close to atmospheric pressure. The equilibrium towards ammonia at reaction temperatures is not favorable at atmospheric pressure, but that doesn't mean that the reaction can't be pushed in the desired direction using other means. It would be more energy intensive to do this at low pressure though, hence it would not be useful for industry.

View user's profile View All Posts By User

Posts: 41
Registered: 24-2-2020
Location: Tunisia
Member Is Offline

[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 14:52

Afaik cyanates can be hydrolyzed to ammonia
View user's profile View All Posts By User
draculic acid69
International Hazard

Posts: 1371
Registered: 2-8-2018
Member Is Offline

[*] posted on 29-3-2020 at 20:15

Why would you want to start with cyanide to make assuming there's a few easier ways to get there that aren't so dangerous.what about extracting it from soils?
Oxidizing nitrites with h2o2? Jacobs ladder and bubbling fumes thru water.cyanide sounds like a really shitty starting point.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
National Hazard

Posts: 970
Registered: 3-9-2017
Member Is Offline

[*] posted on 30-3-2020 at 14:22

How about photocatalytic oxidation of the cyanide induced with UV radiation in contact with titanium dioxide powder?

There's some stuff on sciencedirect about it.

I'd still look really hard at alternative routes before I started making lots of cyanide just to make nitrate.

Not just the danger, which can be managed, but consider how hard it'd be to convince somebody who found out you're making lots of cyanide that you're just using it to make nitrates.

I know if they caught somebody making cyanide here in the USA without a better explanation than that that he might have to deal with an awful lot of questions and maybe even some guy from the EPA showing up to test your soil and still charge you for it even if the test is clean.

View user's profile View All Posts By User
Radically Dubious

Posts: 3026
Registered: 7-5-2011
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 1-4-2020 at 12:49

Yes, nitrate from CN-, see "Elimination Cyanide with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and Calcium Hypochlorite (Ca(OCl)2) on Gold Mine Waste from North Luwu, South Sulawesi " which is available as a PDF (search google).

Per Reactions (1) to (3):

CN- + H2O2 -> OCN- + H2O (1)

OCN- + 3 H2O -> NO2- + CO3(2-) +2 H2O + 2 H+ (2)

NO2- + H2O2 -> NO3- + H2O (3)

Reaction details (like pH, contact time,...) are provided.

It seems like a possible problematic path from HCN to HNO3, but safer from NaCN to a NaNO3.

Note: One may be able, in Reaction (3), to replace H2O2 with HOCl, but apparently NOT advised in (1), as per (7):

CN- + HOCl → CNCl + OH- (7)

and one may wish to avoid CNCl.

[Edited on 1-4-2020 by AJKOER]
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top