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Chemistry LibreTexts

Nucleophilic Addition of HCN to Aldehydes and Ketones

This page gives you the facts and simple, uncluttered mechanisms for the nucleophilic addition reactions between carbonyl compounds (specifically aldehydes and ketones) and hydrogen cyanide, HCN. If you want the mechanisms explained to you in detail, there is a link at the bottom of the page.

Introduction

Aldehydes and ketones behave identically in their reaction with hydrogen cyanide, and so will be considered together - although equations and mechanisms will be given for both types