Cadmium cyanide

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Cadmium cyanide
IUPAC name
Cadmium(II) cyanide
542-83-6 YesY
ChemSpider 61630 YesY
Jmol 3D model Interactive image
PubChem 68335
Molar mass 164.45 g/mol
Appearance white cubic crystals
Density 2.226 g/cm3
1.71 g/100 mL (15 °C)
2.2 g/100 mL (20 °C)
Solubility slightly soluble in alcohol
dissolves in alkali, metal cyanides and hydroxides
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
[1910.1027] TWA 0.005 mg/m3 (as Cd)[1]
REL (Recommended)
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Ca [9 mg/m3 (as Cd)][1]
Related compounds
Other anions
Cadmium chloride,
Cadmium iodide
Other cations
Zinc cyanide,
Calcium cyanide,
Magnesium cyanide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Cadmium cyanide is an inorganic compound with the formula Cd(CN)2. This white crystalline compound is used in electroplating.[2] It is very toxic, along with other cadmium and cyanide compounds.


It is used as an electrolyte for electrodeposition of thin metallic cadmium coatings on metal to protect against corrosion.

Preparation and structure[edit]

Cadmium cyanide is prepared by treating cadmium hydroxide with hydrogen cyanide:[3]

Cd(OH)2 + 2 HCN → Cd(CN)2 + 2 H2O

It adopts a diamondoid structure, like Zn(CN)2.


Like zinc cyanide, cadmium cyanide is fairly soluble in water, which is unusual for metal cyanides. The solubility increases with the additional cyanide, this reaction proceeding via "[Cd(CN)3]" and [Cd(CN)4]2−. With acids, its solutions evolve hydrogen cyanide.


  1. ^ a b c "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards #0087". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 
  2. ^ Lide, David R., ed. (2006). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-0487-3. 
  3. ^ Karl-Heinz Schulte-Schrepping, Magnus Piscator "Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2007 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a04_499.