Potassium cyanide Formula – Equation and Problem Solved with Example

Potassium cyanide is a highly poisonous cyanide salt that is sometimes can be used in replacement of the sodium cyanide too. The chemical formula for the compound is KCN and a molecular weight of 65.12 g/mol. The product is salt that is further composed of the K+ cation and the CN anions. Here, the carbon atom is connected with nitrogen atom through single bond. It has the crystalline structure and looks very much similar to Sodium Cyanide (NaCN). This is a solid and stable compound with cube crystalline structure as given below –

Potassium cyanide Formula

The product can be prepared industrially by combining hydrogen cyanide with potassium hydroxide, it will release water and the potassium cyanide. By removing water, the product can be obtained in the pure state.

HCN + KOH → KCN + H2O

This is a white and colorless crystalline solid with a faint odor of almonds. It has the density of 1.52 g/mL and a melting point of 634.5 °C. The product is highly soluble in water and absorbs air from water quickly. On constant heating, it rapidly decomposes to the toxic cyanide gas and needs to handle carefully.

Keep in mind that KCN crystals should always be stored in dry and acid-free conditions only. If you will combine KCN and H2O2 together then the product becomes less toxic overall.This is majorly used by mining industries to extract ores and other metals. The product is majorly used for organic synthesis and the preparation of various chemicals too.


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