Calcium cyanamide has assumed importance in agriculture since the discovery of its economic production in the electric furnace, wherein calcium carbide takes up nitrogen from the atmosphere to form the cyanamide with the simultaneous liberation of carbon.
Reynolds, Ann., 1869, 150, p. 224), by passing sulphuretted hydrogen into an ethereal solution of cyanamide (E.
It appears that with soils which are not rich in humus or not deficient in lime, calcium cyanamide is almost as good, nitrogen for nitrogen, as ammonium sulphate or sodium nitrate; but it is of doubtful value with peaty soils or soils containing little lime, nor is it usefully available as a top-dressing or for storing.
Nascent hydrogen reduces cyanamide to ammonia and methylamine.
Heated in the electric furnace in a current of air, it yields calcium cyanamide (see Cyanamide).