Potassium Cyanide, KCN
$320.00 / 0.00563 Ƀ
Price for 100g
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Potassium cyanide appears as white amorphous lumps or a crystalline mass with a faint odor of bitter almonds. Density 1.52 g / cm3 Toxic by skin absorption through open wounds, by ingestion. Heating to decomposition produces toxic fumes. Used for gold and silver extraction, in chemical analysis, to make other chemicals, and as an insecticide.
Potassium cyanide is a cyanide salt containing equal numbers of potassium cations and cyanide anions. It has a role as an EC 188.8.131.52 (cytochrome c oxidase) inhibitor, an EC 184.108.40.206 (superoxide dismutase) inhibitor and a neurotoxin. It is a cyanide salt, a one-carbon compound and a potassium salt.
Cyanide is usually found joined with other chemicals to form compounds. Examples of simple cyanide compounds are hydrogen cyanide, sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide. Certain bacteria, fungi, and algae can produce cyanide, and cyanide is found in a number of foods and plants. In certain plant foods, including almonds, millet sprouts, lima beans, soy, spinach, bamboo shoots, and cassava roots (which are a major source of food in tropical countries), cyanides occur naturally as part of sugars or other naturally-occurring compounds.
However, the edible parts of plants that are eaten in the United States, including tapioca which is made from cassava roots, contain relatively low amounts of cyanide. Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless gas with a faint, bitter, almondlike odor. Sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide are both white solids with a bitter, almond-like odor in damp air. Cyanide and hydrogen cyanide are used in electroplating, metallurgy, organic chemicals production, photographic developing, manufacture of plastics, fumigation of ships, and some mining processes.
How Effective is Potassium Cyanide?
For example, the probability that a person who weighs 160 lbs, (72.64 Kg), who ingests 0.3632 grams potassium cyanide will die within three days is 50 %, and if he ingests 0.55 grams, the probability is over 90 %. To put these numbers in prospective, a teaspoon of salt contains 7.2 grams and a tablespoon contains 23.7 grams. Thus, 90 percent of 13 people, about 12, who weigh 160 lbs can be killed using a SINGLE teaspoon of potassium cyanide. A single tablespoon of potassium cyanide will kill 90 % of 43 people, i. e. about 39. In reality, death due to cyanide poisoning will occur in much shorter time than three days, more likely in 2-6 hours.
To put this in prospective, 0.36 grams of potassium cyanide, a white crystalline material that looks like table salt or coarse sugar, occupies a smaller volume then the volume of salt that most people put on an order of French Fries. It can also be mixed with ordinary sugar or placed in a packet of artificial sweetener. If the mixing ratio is say 1 cyanide to 9 sugar, one or two spoons will contain enough cyanide to kill the user! Crystalline potassium cyanide will not be distinguishable by the eyes from ordinary salt or sugar and bot will readily dissolve in water, tea or coffee.
How long does it take for Potassium Cyanide to act?
Inorganic cyanides, the most available ones, are very toxic when ingested but their solution in water is even more toxic. Potassium, sodium and many of the other inorganic cyanides are water soluble. Therefore, when ingested, they quickly form solutions in the stomach which rapidly enters the blood and circulate through every part of the body. The toxicity is somewhat reduced if alcohol and sugar are present simultaneously with the cyanide. The reason is that the cyanide ion can react with the sugars to form amygdalin.
This compound is not very stable and decomposes in water to reform cyanides and sugar. (Hydrolysis). Anecdotally, when attempts were made to poison the Russian Healer/Advisor to the Czar, Rasputin, by putting cyanide in his red wine and cake, he did not die. The exact confirmed evidences are sketchy, but one possibility is that the effective amount of cyanide ingested was reduced due to its reaction with the sugars in the wine to form the less toxic amygdalin.