FULMINIC ACID, Hcno or H 2 C 2 N 2 0 2, an organic acid isomeric with cyanic and cyanuric acids; its salts, termed fulminates, are very explosive and are much employed as detonators.
The researches of Liebig (1823), Liebig and Gay-Lussac (1824), and of Liebig again in 1838 showed the acid to be isomeric with cyanic acid, and probably (Hcno) 2, since it gave mixed and acid salts.
By passing the vapour of this compound through a red-hot tube, it yields the isomeric a0- pyridylpyrrol, the potassium salt of which with methyl iodide gives a substance methylated both in the pyridine and pyrrol nuclei.
Pasteur proved that the inactivity of the one acid depended upon the fact that it was composed of two isomeric constituents: one the ordinary or dextrorotary acid, and the other a new acid, which possessed an equally powerful left-handed action.
The principal elements are found in various combinations, the hydrocarbons of the Pennsylvania oils being mainly paraffins (q.v.), while those of Caucasian petroleum belong for the most part to the naphthenes, isomeric with the olefines (q.v.).