Deutsch: Zyanid / Español: Cianuro / Português: Cianeto / Français: Cyanure / Italiano: Cianuro

Cyanide in the industrial context refers to a chemical compound that contains the group C≡N. This group, known as the cyano group, consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides are extremely toxic and are used in various industrial applications, including mining, electroplating, and synthetic organic chemistry.


In industry, cyanides are primarily used for their ability to efficiently bind with metals, making them useful in processes such as gold and silver mining through a method called cyanidation where precious metals are leached from ores using solutions of sodium or potassium cyanide. They are also used in electroplating, where they help to clean metals and assist in the deposition of metal coatings on various objects to prevent corrosion and improve appearance.

Application Areas

Cyanide is utilized in several industrial areas:

  • Mining Industry: In the extraction of gold and silver using cyanide leaching techniques.
  • Electroplating: Cyanides are used as part of the bath solutions to deposit thin metal coatings on objects.
  • Chemical Synthesis: Used in the production of nitriles and other organic compounds.
  • Pest Control: Certain cyanide compounds are used as fumigants to kill pests and insects.

Well-Known Examples

Examples of industrial use of cyanides include:

  • Gold Cyanidation: This mining process involves treating gold ore with cyanide to extract gold, widely practiced globally due to its cost-effectiveness.
  • Cyanide Electroplating Baths: Used in industries for applying metal coatings on various parts and tools to enhance durability and resistance to corrosion.

Treatment and Risks

The handling and use of cyanide in industrial applications require rigorous safety protocols and risk management due to its highly toxic nature:

  • Exposure Control: Implementing strict handling procedures to prevent cyanide poisoning among workers.
  • Environmental Protection: Ensuring that waste containing cyanide is properly treated to reduce environmental contamination.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Following local and international regulations related to the safe use and disposal of hazardous chemicals.

Similar Terms

  • Cyanidation: A specific process used in the mining industry that utilizes cyanide for the extraction of gold from ore.
  • Nitriles: Organic compounds containing the cyano group that are used in various chemical synthesis processes.


In the industrial or industry context, cyanide is a critical chemical used primarily in mining and electroplating. Its effectiveness in metal binding and processing comes with significant health and environmental risks, requiring careful management to ensure safety and compliance with regulatory standards.


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