I am attempting to synthesize a poly-amine polymer by condensation between dicyandiamide (also known as cyanoguanidine and dicyandiamine) and diethyltriamine. The polymer is a kind of dye fixative agent for cellulosic fabrics.

The reaction liberates ammonia. Once no more ammonia is liberated, it can be considered complete. My lab setup is a three neck flask with stirring and a temperature between 110-160 ºC. One neck has the thermometer, the other the stirrer, and the third a tube that goes to a flask filled with acidic water, to trap the ammonia. A bit of vapor escapes through the stirrer as the seals are not perfect. The trapping flask is also exposed.

Since the reaction involves dicyandiamide and heat, I was fearful that it could also liberate some kind of toxic cyanide-like gas. In the literature there is no mention of any kind of toxic emission, however, I take safety seriously. So I wanted to know if anyone can assure me that there are no toxic cyanide-like emissions. And if they were, any advice is appreciated.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, accidents do happen. If you have a fume hood and sufficient experience with such reactions, you can handle that danger. If you don't, I recommend you leave the job to someone who has both. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Apr 29, 2021 at 20:07


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