Zyklon-B & blue colour

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Post by David Thompson » 19 Apr 2004 22:20

Bjørn A. -- You said:
Hi. I could be wrong, but I think that the 538c mark is where the gas self-ignites when heated up. I suspect that a small spark would be enough to ignite the gas- for instance a spark from an electric fan engine..(?)

I could be all wrong though, but the mixture of HCN and oxygen is undoubtebly combustable, and perhaps dangerously unstable. If you look closer on the etikette of the Zyklon-B box, ( http://www.zyklon-b.info/produkt/warnstoff.htm ) you'll see that the can is to be kept cool and away from exposure to the sun. also there is a warning to keep it away from open fire.
I think you are mistaken. There is a materials handling data sheet for Zyklon B, taken from Pressac, Jean-Claude, Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York: 1989, pp. 18-20, posted at page 2 of:


At Section I "Danger of explosion" the handling instructions state that there is no danger of explosion in normal applications of Zyklon B, and that the concentrations have to be 750% or more than the normal amount for the danger to arise. The instructions go on to state that:
Prussic acid may not be brought into contact with an open flame, glowing wires, etc. because then it burns up slowly and loses all its effectiveness (carbonic acid, water and nitrogen are formed.) [emphasis mine].

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Bjørn A.
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Post by Bjørn A. » 19 Apr 2004 23:21

Thanks for the link, and for clearifying this, David. :idea:
Best regards
Björn A.

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Post by MAX_theHitMan » 29 Apr 2004 15:26

Many thanks to everyone and specially
David Thompson
for this interesting topic and all your comments/posts.

especially Bjørn A.
Here's some additional info on the Zyklon b gas:
for this interesting link.

God Bless


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Post by Hoolaman » 04 May 2004 08:01

Hello people,

I am studying chemistry at the moment, so I feel qualified to answer.

The prussian blue colour is a very stable complex consisting only of Iron and cyanate ions and water.

The blue coloured solid will form spontaneously at normal temperatures, but there must be water present at some point. The water will dissolve some HCN making an acid, which will help leach and dissolve some iron from bricks or steel or whatever.

If there is not any water with dissolved iron then no blue. Bear in mind that it could be atmospheric water, but when all the ingredients are only present in gas form, it will take quite a while for a lot of blue to form.

One would expect that if so many breathing warm people were crammed in the gas chamber, then there would indeed be a lot of water in the atmosphere, maybe even condensing on the walls.

If the walls of the chamber were not high in iron, then not much solid would form. If they were made of brick or steel, then there would be plenty of iron too. If cement, maybe not much iron.

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