Metal oxides

  • Potassium Cyanide: Uses, Properties, and Safety Information

What is potassium cyanide? What are the uses of potassium cyanide? How is potassium cyanide used for gold refining? Where can I buy Potassium Cyanide

KCN 

Potassium cyanide (KCN) is a highly toxic compound with the chemical formula KCN. It is a white, crystalline salt that is highly soluble in water, and it has a faint, characteristic almond-like odor due to the presence of hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which can be released when it comes into contact with acids or moisture. Here are some key points about potassium cyanide and its uses:

Properties

  • Chemical Formula: KCN
  • Appearance: White crystalline solid
  • Solubility: Highly soluble in water
  • Odor: Faint almond-like smell (due to hydrogen cyanide)

Uses

  1. Gold and Silver Mining:

    • Potassium cyanide is used extensively in the mining industry to extract gold and silver from ores. The process, known as cyanidation, involves dissolving the precious metals into a solution by forming a complex with cyanide.
  2. Electroplating:

    • It is used in electroplating to deposit metals such as gold, silver, and copper onto surfaces. The cyanide forms a stable complex with the metal ions, which facilitates their reduction and deposition on the desired surface.
  3. Organic Synthesis:

    • In organic chemistry, potassium cyanide is used as a reagent in various chemical reactions, such as the synthesis of nitriles and carboxylic acids. It acts as a source of the cyanide ion (CN⁻), which is a nucleophile.
  4. Photography:

    • Historically, potassium cyanide was used in the photographic industry in the process of developing and fixing photographs, although its use has declined due to the availability of safer alternatives.
  5. Jewelry Cleaning:

    • It is used in the jewelry industry to clean and polish jewelry. However, its use has significantly decreased due to its high toxicity and the availability of less hazardous cleaning agents.

Toxicity and Safety

  • Toxicity: Potassium cyanide is extremely toxic and can be lethal even in small doses. It inhibits cellular respiration by binding to the iron in cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria, preventing cells from using oxygen.
  • Handling: Due to its high toxicity, potassium cyanide must be handled with extreme care. Appropriate safety measures, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and working in well-ventilated areas or fume hoods, are essential.
  • Antidote: In cases of cyanide poisoning, prompt medical treatment is crucial. Antidotes such as hydroxocobalamin or sodium thiosulfate can be administered to neutralize the cyanide ions and facilitate their excretion from the body.

Regulations

Due to its high toxicity, the use, handling, and disposal of potassium cyanide are strictly regulated in many countries. It is classified as a hazardous substance, and proper licensing and safety protocols are required for its use in industrial and laboratory settings.

In summary, potassium cyanide is a highly toxic compound with significant industrial applications, particularly in mining and electroplating. Its use requires stringent safety precautions due to the severe health risks associated with cyanide poisoning.


Formula: KCN 
Molecular Weight: 65.12 g/mol
Form: White crystalline solid deliquescent
Odor: faint, bitter almond-like
CAS Number: 151-50-8
EC Number: 205-792-3
Density: 1.52 g/cm³
Synonyms: Cyanide of potassium, kalium cyanid, Potassium cyanide (K(CN)), Caswell No. 688A, Cyanure de potassium, cyanopotassium, Kaliumcyanid, Kaliumzyanid, Zyankali, KALI CYANATUM, Kalium cyanid [German], калиев цианид, цианкалий



Write a review

Note: HTML is not translated!
    Bad           Good

Potassium Cyanide: Uses, Properties, and Safety Information

  • Brand: Degussa
  • Availability: 322
  • 2.99€


Available Options


Related Products

UREA - Unlocking the Potential of Carbamide: From Agriculture to Industry urea

UREA - Unlocking the Potential of Carbamide: From Agriculture to Industry urea

CO(NH2)2  Urea, also called carbamide (because it is a diamide of carbonic acid) is a chemical compound with t..

0.59€

Tin(II) Chloride: Properties, Uses, and Applications of Stannous chloride

Tin(II) Chloride: Properties, Uses, and Applications of Stannous chloride

SnCl2 Tin(II) chloride, also known as stannous chloride, has the chemical formula SnCl2. It is a compound of tin in..

1.19€

Graphite Powder: Enhancing Performance and Efficiency of Carbon black

Graphite Powder: Enhancing Performance and Efficiency of Carbon black

C Graphite powder is a form of carbon that's finely ground to a powdered state. It consists of layered carbon atoms..

0.99€

Manganese Dioxide - Advantages of using in Pottery

Manganese Dioxide - Advantages of using in Pottery

MnO2  Manganese dioxide (MnO2) is an inorganic compound. It is a black to brown-colored material that occurs n..

0.99€

Tags: oxide

Featured Categories