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The Peaceful Pill Handbook The Manufacture of Sodium Cyanide
Sodium cyanide can be manufactured in a number of ways. Two relatively simple methods are described in the scientific literature. The first involves the use of the readily available dye, Prussian Blue (Iron III Ferro cyanide). A second uses the common swimming pool chlorine stabiliser, cyanuric acid.
In the first process the Prussian Blue is first converted to sodium ferrocyanide. This is done by allowing it to react with caustic soda in water. Iron oxide is precipitated and sodium ferro cyanide obtained. This sodium ferrocyanide (Yellow Prussate of Soda) is then converted to sodium cyanide by allowing it to react with concentrated sulphuric acid.
Fig7.1: Forge reduces sodium cyanate with carbon
The very toxic HCN produced is passed into caustic soda to form the desired salt. There is considerable information available on this process but it was abandoned after initial experiments, considering it too dangerous for the inexperienced home chemist - some of whom may be readers of this book.
A more suitable method of safe, small-scale home manufacture of sodium cyanide involves the two stage conversion of the common swimming pool chemical cyanuric acid.