Potassium ferrocyanide

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Yellow crystalline powder that is used as an etching liquid in electroplating and process engraving. Potassium ferrocyanide is also used as a Fungicide in paper. Additionally, potassium ferrocyanide is used as a colorimetric reagent to detect the presence of Iron or Copper in metals, corrosion products, stains, or pigments (Odegaard et al 2000). It reacts with iron (III) ions to form ferric ferrocyanide (i.e., Prussian blue) and with copper (II) to form a red-brown cupric ferrocyanide.

Synonyms and Related Terms

yellow prussiate of potash; Prussian alkali


  • Decomposed with heat, acids or UV light to produce hydrogen cyanide gas.
  • CDH FIne CHemicals: SDS

Other Properties

Soluble in water. Insoluble in ethanol.

Composition K4Fe(CN)6 - 3H2O
CAS 13943-58-3
Density 1.853 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 422.39

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 632
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985