Silver fulminate

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Crystal structure
Structure of silver fulminate hexamer
Silver fulminate hexamer
__ Ag      __ C      __ N      __ O
Surname Silver fulminate
other names

Bright silver

Ratio formula AgONC
Brief description

white needles

External identifiers / databases
CAS number 5610-59-3
PubChem 62585
ChemSpider 56347
Wikidata Q420019
Molar mass 149.89 g mol −1
Physical state



very bad in water (0.18 g l −1 at 90 ° C)

safety instructions
GHS hazard labeling
no classification available
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Silver fulminate is the silver salt of acidic acid , also known as fulmic acid. It is a highly explosive , extremely sensitive substance found in pyrotechnic articles such as snap peas .


Silver fulminate was discovered in 1802 by the Italian physician and chemist Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli and before that by Edward Charles Howard , the inventor of fumed mercury . It should not be confused with the mercury fulminate, which in the firing cap of percussion weapons was used. Justus Liebig and Friedrich Wöhler discovered isomerism in silver fulminate and the isomeric silver cyanate in the 1820s .

Extraction and presentation

The technical production takes place through the action of alcohol on a nitric acid solution of elemental silver . The production is subject to strict safety regulations and may only be carried out by trained specialists. It is also possible to display it by reacting a nitric acid solution of silver nitrate with sodium nitrite and malonic acid .



Physical Properties

Pure silver fulminate forms shiny, white needles. A gray color indicates contamination by elemental silver . It is only sparingly soluble in cold water.

Chemical properties

Like all fulminates, silver fulminate is very toxic. Even in small quantities, it can explode even more easily than mercury fulminate under friction or impact . Between hard objects (metal spatulas) it explodes at the slightest impact, even under water.


Silver fulminate is used in small quantities in snap peas because of its explosive effect . In Germany a maximum of 2.5 mg per pea is permitted.

safety instructions

Due to the explosive effect of silver fulminate, extreme caution is required when handling. In contrast to fiery mercury, it detonates even in the smallest quantities and is dangerous even when it is wet.


  • Britton, D .: A Redetermination of the Trigonal Silver Fulminate Structure . In: Acta Crystallographica C . 47, No. 12, 1991, pp. 2646-2647. doi : 10.1107 / S0108270191008855 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Entry on silver fulminate. In: Römpp Online . Georg Thieme Verlag, accessed on December 28, 2014.
  2. This substance has either not yet been classified with regard to its hazardousness or a reliable and citable source has not yet been found.
  3. ^ Ugo Baldini, Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 1972