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Potassium permanganate

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Potassium permanganate
800px-Potassium-permanganate-2004-unit-cell-3D-balls.pngPotassium permanganate structure.png
Systematic name Potassium manganate(VII)
Other names Potassium permanganate
Chameleon mineral
Condy's crystals
Permanganate of potash
Molecular formula KMnO4
SMILES [K+].[O-][Mn](=O)(=O)=O
Molar mass [158.034 g/mol]]
Appearance purplish-bronze-gray needles

magenta–rose in solution

CAS number 7722-64-7
Density and phase 2.703 g/ml, solid
Solubility in water 6.4 g/100mL (20 °C)

250 g/L (65 °C)

Melting point 240 °C
Crystal structure Orthorhombic
MSDS [1]
Main hazards Oxidizing Agent (O)
Harmful (Xn)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point Not applicable.
R/S statement R: R8, R22, R50/53
S: (S2), S60, S61
RTECS number SD6475000
Related compounds
Other anions Potassium manganite

Potassium manganate

Other cations Sodium permanganate

Ammonium permanganate

Related compounds Manganese heptoxide[1]
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Potassium permanganate is one of the significant compounds on the earth, and is a common chemical, which was found in 1659. Potassium permanganate is also known as "Condy's crystals". Its chemical equation is KMnO4. It is proverbially used for sterilization and disinfection as an oxidizing agent by people because of its strong oxidizing property. It is applied to not only the treatment of both drinking and waste water, but also in neutralizing snake venom.


Potassium permanganate solution in a baker. After it dissolves in water, it presents in dark pink or purple

The properties of compound are divided to two aspects- chemical properties and physical properties. On the one hand, the physical properties of Potassium permanganate show that the appearance of Potassium permanganate is dark purple needles. Usually, its physical state is solid. When it becomes a solution, it appears in vivid purple. Its molecular weight is 158.0339. [2]

On the other hand, chemical properties of Potassium permanganate reveals that it is a strong oxidizer. When it contact with other material, it could cause fire. If people take it accidentally, it could cause kidney damage. The concentration of Potassium permanganate is toxic. When it is heated, it produce Manganese dioxide, Potassium manganate and oxygen. It can oxidize metal according to its oxidizing property. It's used as oxidizing agent in both alkaline or acidic solutions. When in an alkaline solution, it produces Hydroxide and Manganese dioxide; when it is in acidic solution, it produces Manganese(II) and water. [3]


Potassium permanganate crystals dissolve in swirling water

One way to manufacture Potassium permanganate is to utilize Manganese dioxide and molten Potassium hydroxide, then dissolve Potassium manganese in water. After that, aerating oxygen gas through it until Potassium manganese solution completely converts it to Potassium permanganate. [4] Pyrolusite, the main component is MnO2, mixes with alkali and melts in the air. People could obtain the dark green potassium permanganate melt: 2MnO2+4KOH+O2 =2K2MnO4+ 2H2O. This experiment KClO3 works as the oxidant. The reaction is: 3MnO2+6KOH+KCLO3=3K2MnO4+KCl+3H2O. Potassium manganate dissolves in water and occurs reaction[1]in an aqueous solution to produce potassium permanganate:3MnO42-+2H2O=MnO2+2MnO4-+4OH-. However, the conversion rate of K2MnO<sun>4</sub> could only achieve 66% MnO ideally by using this method; there are one-third changed back to MnO2.[5] So in order to raise the conversion rate of Potassium permanganate, a better approach is to electrolyze the solution of Potassium manganese. 2K2MnO4+2H2O= 2KMnO4+2KOH+H2. On the positive electrode, it has 2MnO42-→MnO2+2e; on the negative electrode, it has 2H2O+2e→H2+2OH-.[6] The more method of producing Potassium permanganate are to mix Manganese dioxide with Potassium hydroxide which are obtained from ores together, heat Potassium nitrate (supplied oxygen), to produce Potassium manganate. 2MnO2 + 4KOH + O2==2K2MnO4 + 2H2O or 2K2MnO4+ Cl2==2KMnO4+ 2KCl.[7]


People use Potassium permanganate granules on the skin as a protection for isolating skin from germs and infections. It needs to be dissolved in sterile water prior to use.[8] Potassium permanganate also could be used to disinfect water and odor for water treatment. Potassium permanganate is able to remove iron and hydrate sulfite from water.[9]But people cannot use it for a long-term treatment. [10]Because of its chemical properties, Potassium permanganate could be used for metal salts, non-ferrous and metal industry for removal of ferrous impurities and glass industry for coloring and removal of impurities. It could also repair polluted soil and be used for chemical manufacturing.[11]

Potassium permanganate solution is quite useful, compared to its solid state. Potassium Permanganate is an antiseptic. A 0.1% solution is used for cleaning ulcers and abscesses, and could play a part in in fruit disinfection. Potassium permanganate could also use for diminishing inflammation. High concentration of Potassium permanganate could kill foot fungus. [12]Because medical using Potassium permanganate has strong oxidizing property, it could use for sterilization and disinfection. The case of unsaturated hydrocarbons liberates nascent oxygen, which have the effect of killing bacterial. Its strong bactericidal power commonly uses in clinical concentration of 1: 2000-1: 5000 was flush skin wounds, ulcers, thrush, abscess. [13]Backpackers use Potassium permanganate for gastric lavage. In the field of plant, they may be poisoned when they ingest. At that time, people need to take gastric lavage as soon as possible to reduce the absorption of toxic substances. The simplest way is to use a1:1000—1:4000 concentration of potassium permanganate solution for gastric lavage. [14]

Moreover, very few people know that Potassium permanganate is a very effective topical snake medicine, can quickly neutralize snake venom (poison nerve, blood poisoning are valid). after being bitten by a snake Now tied, remove broken teeth, then fill the wound with a small amount of potassium permanganate powder. After that, people could continue with other first aid. [15]


Potassium permanganate was discovered in 1659 by Johann Rudolf Glauber when he fused mineral pyrolusite. He got a green solution when he dissolved the product of the reaction between mineral pyrolusite and potassium carbonate in the water. Later, the color of this solution transfers to red ultimately. Johann Rudolf Glauber wrote a report, which signified the first description of potassium permanganate in the history. After he discovered the substance, its chemical formula was identified. [1]

Another chemist, Henry Bollmann Condy, was from London. He was interested in disinfectants. He discovered a solution which possesses disinfection properties when he fused pyrolusite with sodium hydroxide and dissolved the product into the water to form a new solution no more that two hundred years after Johann found potassium permanganate. However, this solution was quite useful, but not really stable. [16] The chemists later used potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide in this reaction to improve the property of the solution become stabler. [17] In the beginning, people mainly use it in photography as the flash light powder. The improvement of slide utilized the staining potential of potassium permanganate.[18]Some other oxidizers take the place of potassium permanganate because it is unstable. Even though most photographers do not use it anymore, a few photographers still insist using it as the flash light powered in order to obtain black-and-white style.[19]


Survival skills by using Potassium permanganate. This video explains how to use it to purify water, disinfect wounds and start a fire, which is quite simple and convenient for people to accomplish when they want to survive in the wild.


The method of making Potassium permanganate through the reaction between Manganese dioxide, Potassium hydroxide and Potassium nitrate. This experiment makes them into a paste and then heats them strongly. After finishing forming Potassium permanganate, people test its oxidising power. [21]


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  2. Potassium Permanganate Material Safety Data Sheet. Web. Dec 29, 2015.
  3. properties and uses of Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) Mastering Chemistry Help. Web. Dec 26, 2015, Year.
  4. KMnO4 synthesis The Art and Science of amateur experimentalism. Web. Jan 2, 2016.
  5. .Make potassium permanganate Baiduwenku. Web. May 2, 2011.
  6. Synthesis and properties of Potassium permanganate Baiduwenku. Web. July 23, 2014.
  7. How to make potassium permanganate Zuoyebang. Web. Oct 27, 2014.
  8. potassium permanganate granules Web. December 1, 2015.Author Unknown.
  9. Material�Safety�Data�Sheet� Attached� Canada�Colors�and�Chemicals�Limited� . Web. Jan 2, 2016.
  10. Borkert, Timothy. The Sad Truth About Potassium Permanganate and Glycerin Unluckyhunter. January 28, 2012.
  11. Chemical division-Potassium permanganate Organic Industries PVT LTD. Web. Jan 1, 2016
  12. FerFal. 101 Uses: Potassium permanganate The Modern Survivalist . Web. May 3, 2010.
  13. Potassium permanganate DermNet NZ. Web. Dec 23, 2013.
  14. How to use potassium permanganate in medicine Baiduzhidao. Web. Jan 2, 2016.
  15. Potassium permanganate Baiduzhidao. Web. Jan 2, 2016.
  16. Blanck, Clarence A. Historical Background Citeseerx. Web. Jan 11, 2016.
  17. Becker, Scott. The Formula for Potassium Permanganate Synonym. Web. Jan 10, 2016.
  18. Potassium– Background Document Potassium permanganate. Web. March, 2009.
  19. POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE Yahoo Answer. Web. Jan 10, 2016. (specify whether date of publication or last-modified or accessed - i.e. Published November 3, 2015.)
  20. [ Survival Kit: Potassium Permanganate for Water, Wounds and Fire Starting] Youtube-Survivalist Prepper. Web. April 21, 2015.
  21. [ Make potassium permanganate)] Youtube-Chem Player. Web. Oct 27, 2015.