Potassium Cyanide

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potassium cyanide

[pə′tas·ē·əm ′sī·ə‚nīd]
(inorganic chemistry)
KCN Poisonous, white, deliquescent crystals with bitter almond taste; soluble in water, alcohol, and glycerol; used for metal extraction, for electroplating, for heat-treating steel, and as an analytical reagent and insecticide.

Potassium Cyanide


KCN, a colorless, hygroscopic, crystalline compound.

Potassium cyanide has a melting point of 635°C and a density of 1.56 g/cm3 at 25°C and is readily soluble in water (41.7 percent soluble at 25°C and 55 percent soluble at 103.3°C). In aqueous solution it undergoes hydrolysis, forming hydrocyanic acid, HCN. The hydrolysis constant of KCN is 2.54 × 10–5 at 25°C. Potassium cyanide has a great tendency to form complexes, such as potassium ferrocyanide, K4[Fe(CN)6] · 3H2O.

In industry potassium cyanide is produced mainly by neutralizing HCN with potassium hydroxide, KOH. Information on the uses of potassium cyanide can be found in CYANIDE.Potassium cyanide is highly toxic. Its effect on the body and safety rules for its use are discussed in HYDROCYANIC ACID.

References in periodicals archive ?
At the heart of cyanide copper electrolytes is copper cyanide which is insoluble in water and needs sodium or potassium cyanide in solution to aid the dissolution.
In this process, a previously made article was suspended in a solution of silver dissolved in potassium cyanide and water.
Its poison, called tetrodotoxin, is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide and can cause death within 90 minutes of consumption.
Heywood was poisoned last November in a hotel room by Bo's henchman through a lethal dose of potassium cyanide, a poison that kills within minutes in tiny doses.
Cyanide has also been used for judicial execution in some parts of the United States, where cyanide was generated by reaction between potassium cyanide dropped into a compartment containing sulphuric acid, directly below the chair in the gas chamber.
Potassium cyanide is a controlled substance under US law and under the international Chemical Weapons Convention.
EVIDENCE OF ILLEGAL gold extraction using deadly potassium cyanide has been discovered inside China's vast Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in the Gashun Gobi desert, Xinjiang Province, by the explorer who helped establish the reserve in 2001.
All life-sentence prisoners should be offered the choice of taking potassium cyanide.
Five 100g pots of potassium cyanide, which is used in gold plating, were taken from a locked store cupboard at premises in Halesfield in Telford, Shropshire, on Tuesday night.
The two one-litre bottles contain potassium cyanide which is toxic if swallowed, inhaled or allowed to touch the skin.
Among the chemicals used are sodium cyanide, potassium cyanide, chromic acid and sodium dichromate.