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Andrussow process

Lianyungang Klinechem Co.,Ltd | Updated: Nov 29, 2018

The Andrussow process is an industrial process for the production of hydrogen cyanide from methane and ammonia in the presence of oxygen and a platinum catalyst.[1][2]

CH4 + NH3 + 1.5 O2 → HCN + 3 H2O

The process is based on a reaction that was discovered by Leonid Andrussow in 1927. In the following years he developed the process that is named after him. HCN is also produced in the BMA process.

Side reactions

This reaction is very exothermic. The change of enthalpy of this reaction is equal to -481.06 kJ.[3] The heat provided by the main reaction serves as a catalyst for other side reactions.

CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2

2 CH4 + 3 O2 → 2 CO + 4 H2O

4 NH3 + 3 O2 → 2 N2 + 6 H2O

These side reactions can be reduced by only short exposures to the catalyst of the order of 0.0003s.[4]


1.     Jump up^ Leonid Andrussow (1927). "Über die schnell verlaufenden katalytischen Prozesse in strömenden Gasen und die Ammoniak-Oxydation (V)". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. 60 (8): 2005–2018. doi:10.1002/cber.19270600857.

2.     Jump up^ L. Andrussow (1935). "Über die katalytische Oxydation von Ammoniak-Methan-Gemischen zu Blausäure (The catalytic oxidation of ammonia-methane-mixtures to hydrogen cyanide)". Angewandte Chemie48 (37): 593–595. doi:10.1002/ange.19350483702.

3.     Jump up^ Deák, Gyula (1980), Menné reakcie v organickej chémii, Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo technickej a ekonomickej literatúry, p. 14

4.     Jump up^ Pirie, J M (1958). "The Manufacture of Hydrocyanic Acid by the Andrussow Process" (PDF). Platinum Metals Rev. 2 (1): 7–11. Retrieved 28 March 2014.

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