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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1951. Department of Chemistry.


Copyright 1951, the author. Used by permission.


Cyanohydrin formation has been used to trap certain aldehydes or ketones as they formed in biological reactions and thereby remove them from the reaction.The reaction of cyanide with sugars has been studied by many, including Militzer, Marshall, and Rosenfield.

The work discussed in this thesis is the continuation of previous studies in an attempt to determine the characteristics of the reaction of two biologically significant alpha keto acids, namely, pyruvic acid and alpha ketoglutaric acid.Considerable work has been reported in the literature on the reaction with pyruvic acid primarily at blood stream conditions, but none was found on alpha ketoglutaric.The reaction characteristics which seemed to be of most importance were the rate and the extent of the reaction, of the equilibrium constant.From reports in the studied literature, it was expected that hydrogen ion concentration would be a prime factor on the rate of reaction.

The work discussed is to show the effect of pH on the rate of reaction and to determine the equilibrium constants of the reactions.

Advisor: W. E. Militzer