Potassium Iodide - KI

What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?

Potassium iodide is an inorganic chemical compound which is denoted by the chemical formula KI. It is a metal-halide salt featuring an ionic bond between the potassium cation (K+) and the iodide anion (I). It is colourless to white in colour, it appears as cubical crystals, or powder or white granules. It has a highly bitter, saline taste.

Potassium Iodide

This compound is prepared by iodine and mixing potassium hydroxide. It is one of the most effective and safe medicines required in a health system and is in the list of the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.

Properties of Potassium Iodide

KI Potassium Iodide
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 166.0028 g/mol
Density 3.12 g/cm3
Boiling Point 1,330 °C
Melting Point 681 °C

Chemical Properties

Potassium iodide can be oxidized into an I2 molecule by introducing an oxidizing agent to it. An example of such a reaction is provided below.

2KI + Cl2 → 2 KCl + I2

This compound is used as an iodide source in several organic synthesis reactions. One such example is the synthesis of aryl iodides from the diazonium salts of arenes.

Potassium Iodide Structure (KI Structure)

A molecule of potassium iodide consists of one potassium cation and one iodide anion, which are held together by an ionic bond. The structure of a KI molecule is illustrated below.

Structure of Potassium Iodide

Uses of Potassium Iodide

  • It is used as a nutritional supplement in the human diet as well as in animal feeds.
  • It is used in table salt as the most common additive.
  • It is used to avoid the loss of iodine due to oxidation from salts.
  • It is used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism.
  • It helps in promoting hormonal balance.
  • It helps to filter out chlorides, bromides, fluorides, and mercury from cells and tissues.
  • It is used as an expectorant to break up the mucus so the patient can breathe easily.
  • It can help in shrinking the size of the thyroid gland and also decreases the number of thyroid hormones produced.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of KI from the experts at BYJU’S.

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