Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1585-3


In chemistry, thiocyanate is the small molecule SCN (the conjugate base of thiocyanic acid HSCN). Organic compounds containing the functional group SCN are also called thiocyanates. Thiocyanate may be an important prebiotic compound as it forms robustly from cyanide and elemental sulfur:
$$ 8\;{\mathrm{CN}}^{-}+{\mathrm{S}}_8\to 8\;{\mathrm{S}\mathrm{CN}}^{-} $$


Organic Compound Carbon Atom Small Molecule Negative Charge Bioorganic Chemistry 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-kuTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Blue Marble Space Institute of ScienceWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Chemical EvolutionGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA