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Formaldehyde removal of Cyanide

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Sep 25 12:52:10 EST 1996

> ==========
> bionet/microbiology #3838, from murray at molbiol.uct.ac.za, 890 chars, 
Fri  20 Sep 1996 15:52:25
> ----------
> Article: 4819 of bionet.microbiology
> Path: 
> c14.mic.uct.ac.za!murray
> From: murray at molbiol.uct.ac.za
> Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
> Subject: Formaldehyde removal of Cyanide
> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 15:52:25
> Organization: University of Cape Town
> Lines: 11
> Distribution: world
> Message-ID: <murray.61.000FDFBE at molbiol.uct.ac.za>
> NNTP-Posting-Host: pc14.mic.uct.ac.za
> Hi
> I am having problems with an assay I am trying to set up and have 
> that formaldehyde rapidly removes cyanide from the reaction.  As 
cyanide is 
> one of my principle components of the assay I would greatly appreciate 
> someone would be able to explain this mechanism to me.
> Thanks for the assistance
> Murray Gardner
You should check that the formaldehyde is really "removing" the cyanide 
rather than simply interfering with the determination of cyanide. 
Formaldehyde is sometimes very reactive. Many decades ago when such 
things as quantitative Nesslerization was used for ammonium 
determination I had a load of problems because formaldehyde reacted much 
more readily with Nesslers reagent than did ammonium! We had a similar 
problem with nitrate not so long ago when it looked as if we had found a 
good nitrification inhibitor - we hadn't -just a good interference with 
nitrate measurement.
Peter Harris,
Dept of Soil Science,
The University of Reading, UK.
AKA P J Harris at reading.ac.uk

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