3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||65.01 g/mol|
|Appearance||white crystalline solid|
|Melting point||550 °C (1,022 °F; 823 K)|
|11.6 g/100 mL (25 °C)|
|Solubility||ethanol: 0.22 g/100 mL (0 °C) |
dimethylformamide: 0.05 g/100 mL (25 °C)
slightly soluble in ammonia, benzene
insoluble in diethyl ether
|body centered rhombohedral|
Heat capacity (C)
|86.6 J/mol K|
|119.2 J/mol K|
Std enthalpy of
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|1500 mg/kg (rat, oral)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
One of the more recent methods of synthesis involves modifying a procedure in the production of fatty alcohols. Instead of quenching the reaction with water, ammonia is added. This allows for the ammonia to evolve into cyanate and drop out of solution as a precipitate. The precipitate is 95-97% pure with traces of bicarbonate in it. This solid is then rinsed off with water leaving sodium cyanate that has a high purity.
Sodium cyanate is a useful reagent in producing asymmetrical urea derivatives that have a range of biological activity mostly in aryl isocyanate intermediates. Such intermediates as well as sodium cyanate have been used in medicine as a means of counterbalancing carcinogenic effects on the body, possibly helping people with sickle cell anemia, and blocking certain receptors for melanin which has been shown to help with obesity. In most cases the intermediates produced with sodium cyanide are used for medicinal study; however, in the cases of sickle cell anemia and anti-carcinogenic research sodium cyanate itself was the compound of interest.