Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Propyl Cyanide

  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5102-1



The IUPAC name of this organic molecule is butanenitrile. Under standard laboratory conditions it is a colorless liquid that is miscible with most polar organic solvents.


Propyl cyanide is among the largest organic molecules unambiguously detected by radio astronomers in the interstellar medium (Belloche et al. 2009). These authors suggest that it may be produced by surface reactions on interstellar dust grains, perhaps by sequential addition of CH2 or CH3 radicals to known interstellar species such as CN and CH2CN. It is the third member of the series that includes methyl cyanide (CH3CN) and ethyl cyanide (CH3CH2CN).

See Also


Organic Solvent Laboratory Condition Bioorganic Chemistry Organic Molecule Standard Laboratory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References and Further Reading

  1. Belloche A, Garrod RT, Müller HSP, Menten KM, Comito C, Schilke P (2009) Increased complexity in interstellar chemistry: detection and chemical modeling of ethyl formate and n-propyl cyanide in Sagittarius B2(N). Astron Astrophys 499:215–232CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of Massachusetts, Lederle Graduate Research Tower B 619EAmherstUSA