A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN, which is isoelectronic with carbon monoxide and with molecular nitrogen. Most cyanides are highly toxic. In IUPAC nomenclature, organic compounds that have functional group are called nitriles. Thus, nitriles are organic compounds. An example of a nitrile is CH3CN, acetonitrile, also known as methyl cyanide. Nitriles usually do not release cyanide ions. A functional group with a hydroxyl and cyanide bonded to the same carbon is called cyanohydrin. Unlike nitriles, cyanohydridins do release hydrogen cyanide.
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