Potassium Thiocyanate - KSCN

What is Potassium Thiocyanate?

Potassium thiocyanate is a chemical compound that contains potassium, sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen atoms with the formula KSCN. It is formed by the fusion of sulfur with potassium cyanide, extraction with hot aqueous alcohol, evaporating and cooling. Potassium Thiocyanate occurs as colorless, transparent prismatic crystals that are hygroscopic. It is odorless, and has a cooling, saline taste. Alcoholic solution of potassium thiocyanate was shaken up with an acid soil a red color developed, somewhat in proportion to the acidity of the soil.

Other names – Potassium rhodanate, potassium rhodanide


Potassium Thiocyanate


1.89 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

97.181 g/mol

Boiling Point

500 °C

Melting Point

173 °C

Chemical Formula


Potassium Thiocyanate Structure – KSCN

Potassium Thiocyanate Structure

Physical Properties of Potassium Thiocyanate – KSCN




Colorless deliquescent crystals

Covalently-Bonded Unit


Heat capacity

298.15 K, J/mol·K




177 g/100 mL (soluble in water)

Chemical Properties of Potassium Thiocyanate – KSCN

  • Potassium thiocyanate reacts with Iron(III) nitrate forms Iron(III) Thiocyanate, nitric acid and potassium oxide.
  • 3H2O + 2Fe(NO3)3 + 6KSCN → 2Fe(SCN)3 + 3K2O + 6HNO3

  • Potassium thiocyanate reacts with iron chloride forms Iron(III) Thiocyanate and potassium chloride.
  • FeCl3 + 3KSCN → Fe(SCN)3 + 3KCl

Uses of Potassium Thiocyanate – KSCN

  • Used in conjunction with ferric chloride volumetric solution, a red compound is produced at the endpoint.
  • Along with sodium thiocyanate, were formerly much used in the management of essential hypertension.
  • Used in cumbersome, to be carefully followed with blood tests. Overdose may lead to series intoxication and blood dyscrasias.
  • Used in laboratory as a sensitive reagent for the iron ion and with silver nitrate solution for the titrimetric estimation of halides.
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