Glycolonitrile

Summary

Glycolonitrile
Skeletal formula of glycolonitrile
Ball and stick model of glycolonitrile
Spacefill model of glycolonitrile
Names
Preferred IUPAC name
Hydroxyacetonitrile
Other names
  • Cyanomethanol[1]
  • Formaldehyde cyanohydrin[1]
  • Glycolic nitrile[1]
  • Hydroxyacetonitrile[1]
  • Hydroxymethylnitrile[citation needed]
Identifiers
  • 107-16-4 checkY
3D model (JSmol)
  • Interactive image
605328
ChEBI
  • CHEBI:137685
ChemSpider
  • 7569 ☒N
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.155 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 203-469-1
MeSH glycolonitrile
  • 7857
UNII
  • ZCI474BE63 ☒N
  • DTXSID3025417 Edit this at Wikidata
  • InChI=1S/C2H3NO/c3-1-2-4/h4H,2H2 checkY
    Key: LTYRAPJYLUPLCI-UHFFFAOYSA-N checkY
  • OCC#N
Properties
C2H3NO
Molar mass 57.052 g·mol−1
Appearance Colourless, oily liquid
Odor odorless[2]
Density 1.10 g/mL (18.89°C)[2]
Melting point < −72 °C; −98 °F; 201 K [2]
Boiling point 99.6 °C; 211.2 °F; 372.7 K at 2.3 kPa
soluble[2]
Vapor pressure 1 mmHg (62.78°C)[2]
Hazards
Main hazards forms cyanide in the body[2]
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
none[2]
REL (Recommended)
C 2 ppm (5 mg/m3) [15-minute][2]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
N.D.[2]
Related compounds
Related alkanenitriles
Related compounds
DBNPA
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

Glycolonitrile, also called hydroxyacetonitrile or formaldehyde cyanohydrin, is the organic compound with the formula HOCH2CN. It is the simplest cyanohydrin and it is derived from formaldehyde.[3] It is a colourless liquid that dissolves in water and ether. Because glycolonitrile decomposes readily into formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide, it is listed as an extremely hazardous substance. In January 2019, astronomers reported the detection of glycolonitrile, another possible building block of life among other such molecules, in outer space.[4]

Synthesis and reactions

Glycolonitrile is produced by reacting formaldehyde with hydrogen cyanide under acidic conditions. This reaction is catalysed by base.[clarification needed].[5] Glycolonitrile polymerizes under alkaline conditions above pH 7.0. As the product of polymerization is an amine with a basic character, the reaction is self-catalysed, gaining in speed with ongoing conversion.

Glycolonitrile can react with ammonia to give aminoacetonitrile, which can be hydrolysed to give glycine:

HOCH2CN + NH3 → H2NCH2CN + H2O
H2NCH2CN + 2 H2O → H2NCH2CO2H + NH3

The industrially important chelating agent EDTA is prepared from glycolonitrile and ethylenediamine followed by hydrolysis of the resulting tetranitrile. Nitrilotriacetic acid is prepared similarly.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Glycolonitrile". NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. USA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0304". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  3. ^ Gaudry, R. (1955). "Glycolonitrile". Organic Syntheses.; Collective Volume, 3, p. 436
  4. ^ Queen Mary University of London (23 January 2019). "Astronomers find star material could be building block of life". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b Peter Pollak, Gérard Romeder, Ferdinand Hagedorn, Heinz-Peter Gelbke "Nitriles" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_363