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Skeletal formulaπ
Ball-and-stick model
IUPAC name
Other names
Cyanoguanidine, dicyanodiamide, N-cyanoguanidine, 1-cyanoguanidine, Guanidine-1-carbonitrile, dicyandiamin, Didin, DCD, Dicy
461-58-5 YesY
ChemSpider 9611 YesY
EC number 207-312-8
Jmol-3D images Image
PubChem 10005
RTECS number ME9950000
Molar mass 84.08 g/mol
Appearance White crystals
Density 1.400 g/cm3
Melting point 209.5 °C (409.1 °F; 482.6 K)
Boiling point 252 °C (486 °F; 525 K)
41.3 g/l
log P -0.52
2.25·10−10 atm.m3/mol
Main hazards harmful (Xn)
R-phrases R20/21/22
S-phrases S24/25
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

2-Cyanoguanidine is an nitrile derived from guanidine. It is a dimer of cyanamide, from which it can be prepared. 2-Cyanoguanidine is a colourless solid that is soluble in water, acetone, and alcohol, but not nonpolar organic solvents.[1]

Production and use[edit]

2-Cyanoguanidine is produced by treating cyanamide with base. It is produced in soil by decomposition of cyanamide. A variety of useful compounds are produced from 2-cyanoguanidine, guanidines and melamine. It is also used as a slow fertilizer. Formerly, it was used as a fuel in some explosives. It is used in the adhesive industry as a curing agent for epoxies.[1]


Dicyandiamide is used in the synthesis of metformin,[2] phenformin, cycloguanil etc.

Tautomers and salts[edit]

One tautomer of 2-cyanoguanidine has the connectivity NC-NH-C(NH)NH2. Further tautomerization gives NC-NH-C(N)NH3+. Formal loss of ammonia (NH3) from this latter tautomer, followed by deprotonation gives the dicyanamide anion, [N(CN)2]. The dicyanamide anion has been used extensively as a counterion of organic and inorganic salts, such as in the synthesis of what was, in 1990, a superconductor with novel properties.[3]


In September 2012, traces of dicyandiamide were found in milk produced by New Zealand company Fonterra.[4] Fonterra, Federated Farmers, and the Government moved quickly to reassure the public and overseas buyers there was no risk to health.[5] Fonterra has received praise for its handling of the DCD issue.[6] The levels were very low and attempts were made to prevent the test results from being reported in the media.[7]


  1. ^ a b Thomas Güuthner; Bernd Mertschenk (2006). "Cyanamides". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a08_139.pub2. 
  2. ^ Shapiro, S. L.; Parrino, V. A.; Freedman, L. (1959). "Hypoglycemic Agents. III.1—3N1-Alkyl- and Aralkylbiguanides". Journal of the American Chemical Society 81 (14): 3728. doi:10.1021/ja01523a060.  edit
  3. ^ A new ambient-pressure organic superconductor, κ-(ET)2Cu[N(CN)2]Br, with the highest transition temperature yet observed (inductive onset Tc= 11.6 K, ..., AM Kini, U Geiser, HH Wang, KD Carlson ..., Inorganic Chemistry 1990, 29, 2555-2557.
  4. ^ "Government downplays DCD risk". 3 News NZ. January 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Astley, Mark (January 28, 2013). "Government defends Fonterra's safety". 3 News NZ. 
  6. ^ "DCD concerns: NZ handling of crisis was ‘textbook’ - Rabobank". Dairy Reporter. February 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ Watkins, Tracy (14 April 2013). "Secrecy Over DCD In Milk Scare Revealed". Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 

External links[edit]