A method for providing .sup.11C-labeled cyanides from .sup.11C labeled oxides in a target gas stream retrieved from an irradiated high pressure gaseous target containing O.sub.2, wherein .sup.11C labeled oxides are reduced with H.sub.2 in the presence of a nickel catalyst under a pressure and a temperature sufficient to form a product stream comprising at least about 95% 11.sub.CH.sub.4, the .sup.11CH.sub.4 is then combined with an excess of NH.sub.3 in a carrier/reaction stream flowing at an accelerated velocity and the combined .sup.11CH4 carrier/reaction stream is then contacted with a platinum (Pt) catalyst particulate supported on a substantially-chemically-nonreactive heat-stable support at a temperature of at least about 900.degree. C., whereby a product stream comprising at least about 60% H .sup.11CN is provided in less than 10 minutes from retrieval of the .sup.11C labeled oxide.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
 This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-ACO2-98CH10886, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and under grant number R21A1084189, awarded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The Government has certain rights in the invention.