Sodium and potassium cyanides are mainly used as reagents in the mining industry for the extraction of precious metals. In the North American market, 90% of sodium and potassium cyanides are used for the refining of gold and silver while only 78% in the rest of the world.
In addition, they are used as a chemical intermediate, especially in places where there is no local supply of hydrogen cyanide. The sodium and potassium cyanides can in fact be transported and stored easily and safely.
In water treatment, the use of KMnO4 oxidizes the dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide in solid particles. It can also be used to control the growth of iron bacteria in wells. The particles are then filtered, with a filter that can be either a manganese-coated aluminum silicate or a layer of anthracite.
Potassium permanganate is an oxidizing agent used in oxidation-reduction titrations, reacting in an acid environment, for redox titrations (permaganometry), and in the synthesis and of various organic compounds.
KMnO4 is also used in the surface treatment of steels.
Before proceeding to the acid pickling phase, it is necessary to perform a thorough cleaning, using special baths, in particular for ferritic and martensitic steels in the annealed state.
For fast pickling, or for materials where cleaning is difficult, it is possible through a bath with a temperature close to boiling:
- Soda 20% by weight
- Potassium permanganate 5% by weight
- Water 75% by weight
Main exporters and market trends
Potassium permanganate as a precursor for narcotic substances according to the DFI Ordinance on drug lists (OEStup-DFI) is subject to control by SwissMedic.
Every company that markets or uses potassium permanganate requires an operating authorization for the use of controlled substances issued by the DFI (Federal Department of the Interior).
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