Chemguide: Support for CIE A level Chemistry

Learning outcome 19: Nitrogen compounds

19.2: Nitriles and hydroxynitriles

Statements 19.2.1 and 19.2.2

Statement 19.2.1

This statement wants you to know how a nitrile can be made using the reaction between potassium cyanide and a halogenoalkane.

You will find this on the page about the reactions between halogenoalkanes and cyanide ions. If you read the statement, you will see that you need to know the conditions for the reaction.

Statement 19.2.2

Hydroxynitriles are formed from the reactions between aldehydes and ketones with hydrogen cyanide and potassium cyanide.

You will probably already have come across these reactions on the page simple addition to aldehydes and ketones. Ignore the section about the reaction with sodium hydrogensulfite.

You are likely to come up against both of these reactions quite commonly in exams. Make sure you know them.

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© Jim Clark 2020