Cyanogen, the dinitrile of oxalic acid, is an extremely poisonous gas. It was first prepared as a pure substance by J. L. Gay-Lussac in 1815. It is usually made in the lab by oxidizing cyanide ion in aqueous solution; the industrial process is gas-phase oxidation of HCN. Cyanogen has few industrial uses, although NASA has considered using it as a rocket fuel.
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