[sahy-an-uh-mid, -mahyd, sahy-uh-nam-ahyd, -id]


Cyanamide (CN2H2) is an amide of cyanogen, a white, crystalline compound.

The term can also refer to a salt of this compound, having one or both of the hydrogen atoms replaced by another element or radical, such as in the most common case of calcium cyanamide (CaCN2), a compound used as a fertilizer and as a source of other compounds of nitrogen.


Cyanamide can be prepared by hydrolysis of calcium cyanamide in presence of carbon dioxide by Frank-Caro process:
mathrm{CaCN_2 + H_2O + CO_2 rightarrow H_2NCN + CaCO_3}


Since mid-1960s, there have been developed procedures to produce stabilized cyanamide for industry use. Cyanamide is used as a plant growth modulator and has many uses in chemical industry.

Safety risks

Aqueous solutions of cyanamide with high concentration may undergo explosive polymerisation when heated. Stability of its solution can be increased by addition of a dicarboxylic acid such as adipic acid.


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