The formation of prussic acid at a certain period of the vital processes of certain plants may be given as an example of such phases; and poisons akin to muscarin seem to arise frequently in development or regression, both in animals and plants.
In a note published in 18 r.1 he described the physical properties of this acid, but he said nothing about its chemical composition till 1815, when he described cyanogen as a compound radicle, prussic acid as a compound of that radicle with hydrogen alone, and the prussiates (cyanides) as compounds of the radicle with, metals.
CYANIDE, in chemistry, a salt of prussic or hydrocyanic acid, the name being more usually restricted to inorganic salts, i.e.
With these exceptions, the simple cyanides are readily decomposed even by carbonic acid, free prussic acid being liberated.
The following poisons may not be sold, either retail or wholesale, unless distinctly labelled with the name of the article, and the word poison, with the name and address of the seller: Almonds, essential oil of (unless deprived of prussic acid).
This tincture contains chloroform, morphine and prussic acid, and must be used with the greatest care.
Among the substances of which he investigated the composition were ammonia, sulphuretted hydrogen and prussic acid, and his experiments on chlorine, which he regarded, not as an element, but as oxygenated muriatic (oxymuriatic) acid, led him to propose it as a bleaching agent in 1785.
For the nitrite, see Nitrogen, for the nitrate see Saltpetre and for the cyanide see Prussic Acid; for other salts see the articles wherein the corresponding acid receives treatment.
For sodium nitrite see Nitrogen; for sodium nitrate see Saltpetre; for the cyanide see Prussic Acid; and for the borate see Borax.
The free acid, which is obtained by treating the salts with acids, is an oily liquid smelling like prussic acid; it is very explosive, and the vapour is poisonous to about the same degree as that of prussic acid.