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Boiling cyanide

I discovered today that if you boil 24k gold electroplating solution
to a dry burned state, allow the beaker to cool to room temperature,
add distilled water and boil again, then allow to cool to plating
temperature, it works fine. And you don’t die (so far.)


Safety Warning and Disclaimer.

Safety is your responsibility!

The opinions expressed above are the views of the writer and do not
necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Ganoksin

Please be cautious when handling and storing potentially poisonous
substances and refer to the MSDS sheets for further information
before introducing new materials or techniques to your studio.

MSDS Online:


Oh my gosh. That sounds like tempting fate. My advice to one and all
is to avoid this at all costs.

Even if the cyanide does not kill you outright, it may well cause
dangersto your entire system.

There are too many chemicals with which we work which are
potentially dangerous.

Case in point, benzene, which used to be used casually to clean
grease, can cause serous blood diseases. In fact it is consider one
of the causes of myleodysplasia—a blood disease, also known as
pre-leukemia. I believe in some states it is now illegal. Google
myleodysplasia and read all about it. Better safe than sorry.


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Norman- you need to keep your mind on the job more and avoid
distractions when heating the plating solution. Boiling it is never
good [for the solution], we use it at 30deg and are fighting
management for better extractor systems. From memory it is sodium
cyanide and general safety measures are required and normally enough.

Anybody reading Norman’s item and thinking cyanide solutions are ok
to boil -DO NOT confuse it with potassium cyanide, boil this and
breathing the fumes would be pushing luck too far. Oh, and “never
ever” store ammonia in the same room.

[New Zealand- recovering from the earthquakes]

Benzene also causes A-plastic Anemia. That killed my dad.

People sometimes heat glue to loosen it, to do whatever their
purpose may be. Superglue is cyanoacrylate. If you heat it, it turns
into cyanide gas. You DON’T want to inhale that. In fact, just don’t
heat it. Police use it in FUMING CHAMBERS to bring fingerprints up on
things that may be hard to print (like a dead body), or also to make
prints more “permanent” on non-porous things (like coke cans), where
the print could be destroyed on the first lift without the glue.

retired State Trooper, forensic and identification technician

Superglue is cyanoacrylate. If you heat it, it turns into cyanide
gas. You DON'T want to inhale that. In fact, just don't heat it.
Police use it in FUMING CHAMBERS 

Val, heating cyanoacrylates does not produce the classic cyanide gas
(hydrogen cyanide). Combustion products from buring super glues can
be irritating and even toxic, but they are not cyanide gas. The fact
that super glues have a CN ion (cyanide ion) in their formula does
not make them automatically close relatives in toxicity to hydrogen
cyanide gas. Products from incomplete combustion can include nitrous
and nitric oxide gases, carbon monoxide, and isocyantes (an ion made
of a carbon, a nitrogen, and an oxygen atom, unlike the cyanide ion
which does not have that oxygen atom) All of these can be irritants
or toxic depending on amounts. Some of the same combustion products
are found with burning a number of other plastics too, by the way.
Lower gentle heating (boiling the stuff to create cyanoacrylate
fumes) is what’s done in your forensic fume chambers, to produce
cyanoacrylate fumes themselves, which react with humidity and
various other materials (such as fingerprints, no dead bodies
required) to polymerize. That polymerization is how super glue cures,
and once cured, it’s pretty much inert and non toxic. When it
polymerizes on/in mucus membranes, though (such as when you inhale
the fumes or get them in your eyes), the result can be very
irritating, so should be avoided. But doing that requires heating or
getting your face very close to the uncured liquid, not the already
cured glue…