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Environmental fate & pathways

Phototransformation in water

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Description of key information

This study was performed on iron ferrocyanate and ferrocyanide.  Free cyanide anion is liberated from these reactions.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Half-life in water:
20 min

Additional information

Photolysis of iron cyanide complexes in water may be important for the aquatic fate of cyanide, depending on the penetration of UV and visible light. The extent of photolysis is dependent on the intensity of the light irradiation and the duration of light exposure, which in turn depend on factors such as depth of the water and turbidity, time of the day and latitude. In distilled water under natural light, the half-life of ferrocyanide was 20 minutes at concentrations between 0.1 to 1 mg Fe(CN)64-/l. In natural waters, the rate of photodecomposition was 10 times less at a depth of 15 cm and 30 times less at 50 cm compared to the surface.