Fulminic acid

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Fulminic acid
Fulminic acid 3D spacefill.png
IUPAC name
  • 506-85-4 ☑Y
3D model (JSmol)
  • Interactive image
  • CHEBI:29813 ☑Y
  • ChEMBL185198 ☑Y
  • 454715 ☑Y
PubChem CID
  • 521293
Molar mass 43.02 g mol−1
Conjugate base Fulminate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Fulminic acid is a chemical compound with a molecular formula HCNO. Its silver salt was discovered in 1800 by Edward Charles Howard and later investigated in 1824 by Justus von Liebig. It is an organic acid and an isomer of isocyanic acid, whose silver salt was discovered one year later by Friedrich Woehler.[1] [2] The free acid was first isolated in 1966.[3]

Fulminic acid and its salts (fulminates), for instance mercury fulminate, are very dangerous, and are often used as detonators for other explosive materials, and are examples of primary explosives. The vapors also are toxic.


  1. ^ F. Kurzer (2000). "Fulminic Acid in the History of Organic Chemistry". J. Chem. Educ. 77 (7): 851–857. doi:10.1021/ed077p851.
  2. ^ F. Kurzer (1999). "The Life and Work of Edward Charles Howard". Annals of Science. 56 (2): 113–141. doi:10.1080/000337999296445.
  3. ^ Beck, W. and Feldl, K. (1966), The Structure of Fulminic Acid, HCNO. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., 5: 722–723. doi:10.1002/anie.196607221
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