Zyklon B

related topics
{acid, form, water}
{war, force, army}
{album, band, music}
{black, white, people}
{company, market, business}
{group, member, jewish}
{ship, engine, design}
{law, state, case}

Zyklon B (German pronunciation: [tsykloːn ˈbeː]; also spelled Cyclon B or Cyclone B) was the trade name of a cyanide-based pesticide infamous for its use by Nazi Germany against human beings in gas chambers of extermination camps during the Holocaust.

It consisted of hydrogen cyanide (prussic acid, Blausäure in German, hence B[1]), a stabilizer, a warning odorant Methyl 2-bromoacetate, and one of several adsorbents.

Contents

History

Even before any of the modern methods to mass produce prussic acid were developed, first suggestions to use it systematically to kill humans surfaced. A Berlin pharmacist is credited with the proposal to use rags with prussic acid placed on bayonets to combat the advancing Napoleonic army in 1813[2]. During World War I, the French army reportedly – according to Fritz Haber, the German chemist who helped develop poisonous gas for German Army use (see below) – used 2000 tons of prussic acid as a poison gas agent in artillery ammunition.[3]

Widespread 'biological' application of hydrocyanic acid was initially limited to the fumigation of valuable tree crops, namely of citrus fruit, spreading 1887 from California[4] to Spain and other countries using liquid prussic acid or calcium cyanide or sodium cyanide preparations. During World War I other HCN-based pest control applications were developed, and soon fumigation of ships, stores, factories, and even residential buildings with hydrocyanic acid gas became a popular method to combat insect and rodent pests in many countries.[5] Thousands of ships, cereal mills and other food processing factories were fumigated with hydrocyanic acid gas until the mid 1930s in Germany alone.

Full article ▸

related documents
Potassium ferrocyanide
Perlite
Uraninite
Phenyl group
Octahedrite
Isoleucine
Ununennium
Surfactant
Thermal diffusivity
Calamine (mineral)
List of synthetic polymers
Coenzyme A
Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted
Hypoxanthine
Katharometer
Ulexite
Allene
Chemisorption
Soman
Putrescine
Periodic table (standard)
Leucine
Valine
Diene
Physical chemistry
Vitamin E
Cobalt bomb
Genetic material
Northern blot
Inositol triphosphate