Potassium cyanide

Jump to navigation Jump to search


White, deliquescent powder with the faint odor of bitter almonds. Potassium cyanide is used to extract Gold and silver from ores. It has also been used as an Insecticide and Fumigant. Many old recipes also used potassium cyanide to clean tarnish from silver.


  • Extremely TOXIC by ingestion, inhalation and absorption through skin.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, glycerol.

Composition KCN
CAS 151-50-8
Melting Point 634 C
Density 1.52 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 65.12
Refractive Index 1.410

Resources and Citations

  • D. Strahan "Treatment of a Silver Dragon for the Removal of Silver Cyanide and Chalconatronite" JAIC, 25: 73-81, 1986.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 632
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 7789
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.410

Retrieved from "https://cameo.mfa.org/index.php?title=Potassium_cyanide&oldid=92299"