# Hydrolysis of cyanohydrin

The question is(See image):

I know that initially a cyanohydrin will be formed. On reaction with $\ce{H2SO4}$, the cyanohydrin will give a carboxylic acid/an amide.

Here's my doubt:

Since the medium is highly concentrated acid medium(95% $\ce {H2SO4}$), the quantity of water in the medium is less, which means lesser of the nucleophile(water in this case). Hence the cyanohydrin should undergo partial hydrolysis to give an amide(because of lesser water!). Therefore, according to me the answer should be (D).(Had it been dilute acid medium I would have gone with the carboxylic acid product.) However, in this case my answer is not correct...:(

What is incorrect about my thinking?

• $\ce{H2SO4}$ is typically used in excess since it is the solvent. There should be more than enough water to convert the amide to the acid, especially since the ammonia escapes from the system pushing the equilibrium totally to the acid side. But I agree, the question would have been clearer if the words "excess $\ce{H2SO4}$" had been used. – ron May 22 '14 at 15:28