Potassium thiocyanate

Potassium thiocyanate

Potassium thiocyanate is the chemical compound with the molecular formula KSCN. It is an important salt of the thiocyanate anion, one of the pseudohalides. The compound has a low melting point relative to most other inorganic salts.

Use in chemical synthesis

Aqueous KSCN reacts almost quantitatively with Pb(NO3)2 to give Pb(SCN)2. The lead compound has been used to convert acyl chlorides to the thiocyanates.

KSCN converts ethylene carbonate to ethylenesulfide. For this purpose, the KSCN is first melted under vacuum to remove water. In a related reaction, KSCN converts cyclohexene oxide to the corresponding episulfide.

C6H10O + KSCN → C6H10S + KOCN

Its the starting product for the synthesis of carbonyl sulfide.

Other uses

Dilute aqueous KSCN is occasionally used for moderately realistic blood effects in film and theater. It can be painted onto a surface or kept as a colourless solution. When in contact with ferric chloride solution, the product of the reaction is a blood red solution.


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