Dicyanoacetylene, also called carbon subnitride or but-2-ynedinitrile (IUPAC), is a compound of carbon and nitrogen with chemical formula C4N2. It has a linear molecular structure, N≡C−C≡C−C≡N (often abbreviated as NC4N), with alternating triple and single covalent bonds. It can be viewed as acetylene with the two hydrogen atoms replaced by cyanide groups.
At room temperature, dicyanoacetylene is a clear liquid. Because of its high endothermic heat of formation, it can explode to carbon powder and nitrogen gas, and it burns in oxygen with a bright blue-white flame at a temperature of 5260 K (4990 °C, 9010 °F), which is the hottest flame of any chemical. This high flame temperature is also the result of the absence of hydrogen, and, therefore, water as a combustion product. Because of its high specific heat, water vapor as a combustion product tends to lower the flame temperature of hydrogen containing compounds. The endothermic dissociation of water at high temperatures above 2000 °C also prevents flame temperatures from rising above 3000 to 4000 °C.
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