Hydrogen Cyanide Manufacture Technology Description

Online Hydrogen Cyanide Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

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In this page you will find free data about Hydrogen Cyanide, including:

  • What is Hydrogen Cyanide
  • How to make Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Hydrogen Cyanide uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Hydrogen Cyanide production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

Hydrogen Cyanide Manufacture Technology

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a chemical precursor used in the production of several industrially relevant compounds, such as adiponitrile for nylon production, methyl methacrylate for polymer manufacturing, sodium cyanide for gold recovery and for the production of methionine, which is used as a feed additive.

HCN is mainly produced though the Andrussow process, named for developer Leonid Andrussow. The method involves reacting ammonia, natural gas and air over a platinum catalyst to form HCN. Alternatively, HCN can be produced by the BMA process, which uses ammonia and natural gas only.

Technology Description

HCN production via the Andrussow process is depicted in the flowsheet and described below, based on information available in the literature. The process can be divided into three main areas: reaction, ammonia recovery and product purification.

Hydrogen Cyanide Manufacture Technology - Process Flow Diagram


Natural gas, ammonia and air are fed into the reactor, where HCN is formed through a catalytic reaction. The product stream, containing HCN and unreacted ammonia, must be cooled down to avoid HCN decomposition. This is accomplished in a waste-heat boiler located below the reactor. The waste-heat boiler generates steam that can be used elsewhere in the process.

Ammonia Recovery

The product stream is fed to ...

Product Purification

The HCN-containing stream is fed to the HCN absorber, where ...

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