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The Endless Versatility of Potassium Cyanide

Potassium cyanide is an incredibly common crystalline salt. Used in a variety of applications including gold mining, electroplating, and even jewelry making, potassium cyanide (KCN) was once the most important source of alkali metal cyanides in the world.


What to Know About Potassium Cyanide

KCN is colorless and has a similar appearance to sugar. It is soluble in water and also highly toxic. About 50,000 tons of KCN are produced every year through one of two processes: the treating of hydrogen cyanide with an aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide or by treating formamide with potassium hydroxide. The most common form of the compound has a crystalline structure in which each potassium ion is surrounded by six cyanide ions, and vice versa.

KCN as a Reagent Chemical

Potassium cyanide is often used within organic synthesis for the preparation of nitriles and carboxylic acids. The most prevalent reaction used for this application is known as the von Richter reaction. KCN is a powerful chemical intermediate for the construction of other organic compounds.

Within the chemicals industry, potassium cyanide is most often used to help prepare chemicals for use in sectors such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and plastics. It is a powerful reagent for which the applications are growing alongside the demand for industrially manufactured products.

Potassium Cyanide from Noah Chemicals

Noah Chemicals is a supplier of reagent chemicals, among many other chemical products. We carry granular ACS reagent grade potassium cyanide in several quantities, including bulk. We work with manufacturers and researchers alike to supply high-purity, reliable chemicals for use in a wide variety of organic synthesis reactions.

KCN is as tightly controlled as it is widely used in industry. Because of its toxicity, handling and storage of the substance must be done with utmost care. Noah Chemicals always adheres to the ISO 9001:2015 set of quality standards, and we take shipping chemicals incredibly seriously.

Do you have questions about how Noah Chemicals’ chemical reagents fit into your process? Our products are designed for consistency and reliability; our clients return again and again because they trust our commitment to quality.


We are an American-based chemical supply company out of San Antonio, Texas. Browse our online catalog today to find out which products we have in stock right now or ask one of our in-house chemists if you have questions about your application. They’re always happy to help.




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