Ammonium cyanate

Ammonium cyanate
3D model (JSmol)
  • InChI=1S/CHNO.H3N/c2-1-3;/h3H;1H3
  • C(#N)[O-].[NH4+]
Molar mass 60.056 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless crystals
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Ammonium cyanate is an inorganic compound with the formula [NH4]+[OCN]. It is a colorless, solid salt.

Structure and reactions

The structure of this salt was verified by X-ray crystallography. The respective C–O and C–N distances are 1.174(8) and 1.192(7) Å, consistent with the O=C=N description. Ammonium cation [NH4]+ forms hydrogen bonds with cyanate anion O=C=N, but to N, not to O.

The compound is notable as the precursor in the Wöhler synthesis of urea, an organic compound, from inorganic reactants. This led to the discarding of the Vital force theory, suggested earlier by Berzelius.

NH+4 + OCN → (NH2)2CO

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