According to this article an acid-base reaction was attempted but produced junk above -40 C. What are some plausible bits of junk they could have gotten? https://www.sciencenews.org/article/elusive-acid-finally-created
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Here's the expected reaction described in the paper that didn't work: \[ H_2SO_4 + Na C(CN)_3 \cancel \longrightarrow NaHSO_4 + HC(CN)_3\]
So what possibly happens with these molecules to cause this to fail? Try to suggest mechanisms or ideas or whatever!
Additionally he says he ends up with a greenish concoction. I wonder if this implies that the molecules formed a larger chromophore that we can predict?
Oooh according to wikipedia it produces: (Z)-3- amino-2-cyano-3-hydroxyacrylamide (H2N)(OH)C=C(CN)CONH2 which looks like this:
|dw:1443280176919:dw| I am curious how this happens, it would seem that the oxygen atoms both come from H2SO4 in some kind of concerted reaction which is what forces this to become the Z isomer.We can see that all 4 carbon atoms are here.