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potassium cyanide[pə′tas·ē·əm ′sī·ə‚nīd]
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.