Potassium Permanganate

A dark purple crystalline compound, used as an oxidizing agent and disinfectant and in deodorizers and dyes.


M. S. D. S.


Introduction

Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) is a chemical compound of manganese, potassium and oxygen. The salt is also known as "permanganate of potash" and "Condy's crystals". In this salt, manganese is in the +7 oxidation state. The permanganate ion is a strong oxidizing agent. It dissolves in water to give deep purple solution, evaporation of which gives prismatic purple-black glistening crystals. It has a sweet taste and is odourless.

In 1659, German chemist J.R. Glauber, fused a mixture of the mineral pyrolusite and potassium carbonate to obtain a material that, when dissolved in water, gave a green solution potassium manganate (K2MnO4) which slowly changed colour to violet to form potassium permanganate and then finally red. This report has gone down in history as the first description of the production of potassium permanganate.

Around two hundred years later, London chemist Henry Bollmann Condy had an interest in disinfectants, and marketed several products including ozonised water. He found that fusing pyrolusite with Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and dissolved it in water produced a solution with disinfectant properties. He patented this solution, and marketed it as Condy's Fluid. Although effective, the solution was not very stable. This was overcome by using Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) rather than NaOH. This was more stable, and had the advantage of easy conversion to the equally effective Potassium Permanganate crystals.

This crystalline material was known as Condy’s crystals or Condy’s powder. Potassium Permanganate was comparatively easy to manufacture, so Condy was subsequently forced to spend considerable time in litigation in order to stop competitors from marketing products similar to Condy's Fluid or Condy's Crystals. However, Potassium Permanganate was born and the production started worldwide.

Grades of Potassium Permangante

  • Pure Grade Crystals (99 % min.)
  • Pure Grade Powder (99% min.)
  • Free Flowing Grade (FFG-97% min.)
  • Technical Grade (98% min.)

Grades are defined by the physical characteristics and purity of Potassium Permanganate. Different grades have different applications.

Physical and Chemical Properties

Molecular formula KMnO4
Molar mass 158.04 g/mol
Appearance Dark purple-bronze needles, Vivid purple in solution
Density 2.703 g/cm³
Melting point 270 °C
Solubility in water 6.38 g/100 ml at 20 °C
Crystal structure Orthorhombic

Uses & Applications

  • Water treatment for disinfection, odour control and maintaining B.O.D. levels
  • Pickling agent in steel industry for descaling and degreasing
  • Fumigation of Poultry farms, hatcheries and hospitals
  • Air purification for odour control and increased oxygen levels
  • Non-ferrous, metal and metal salts industry for removal of ferrous impurities
  • Oxidizing and removal of ferrous impurities from inorganic chemicals
  • Pharmaceutical intermediate manufacture
  • Organic intermediates and chemicals manufacture
  • Repacking industry for various institutional, medicinal and household uses
  • Disease control and disinfection in aquaculture and mushroom culture
  • Pre-treatment of wood and wooden furniture
  • Glass industry for coloring and removal of impurities
  • Welding electrode industry for manufacture of fluxes
  • Textile processing for bleaching and stain removal
  • Soil remediation
  • Forward integration to Sodium Permanganate
  • Aquaculture / fish culture
  • Sodium Saccharine

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