Principal Uses of Potassium Permanganate

Almost all applications of potassium permanganate exploit its oxidizing properties. As a strong oxidant that does not generate toxic byproducts, KMnO4  has many niche uses. One of the uses can be said to be as a fixative. This list is by no means the  only applications that Potassium Permanganate is used for, but it covers some of the more common applications.

Potassium Permanganate is used principally as an oxidizing agent in the following applications:

1. Municipal water treatment:

Removes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide; eliminates taste, odor, and color; and controls algae growth. Growing applications for potassium permanganate are as a substitute for prechlorination to prevent the formation of trihalomethane (“THM”), a possible carcinogen, and as an inhibitor of zebra mussel attachment.

2. Wastewater treatment:

(a) Municipal–oxidizes organic and inorganic contaminants, removes toxic and corrosive hydrogen sulfide from sanitary sludge, deodorizes wastewater streams,and dewaters sludge; and

(b) Industrial–removes soluble iron and manganese from acid mine wastes, removes hydrogen sulfide from sludge, and dewaters sludge; controls phenol and otherindustrial pollutants.

3. Chemical manufacture and processing: Aids in synthesis of organic products for the chemical process and pharmaceutical industries.

4. Aquaculture (fish farming): Controls fish diseases and parasites, and detoxifies poisons while relieving oxygen depletion in fish ponds.

5. Metal processing: Removes oxides, mill scale, and carbon residues on steel.

6. Air and gas purification: Removes pollutants from air and impurities from industrial gases, and quenches slag from foundry operations.

7. Fumigation of Poultry farms, Hatcheries, Mushroom farms, other culture environment and Operation theatres in Hospitals

In addition to the above, potassium permanganate is used as a decoloring and bleaching agent in the textile and tanning industries, as an oxidizer in the decontamination of radioactive wastes, as an aid in flotation processes used in mining, in cleaning printed circuit boards, and in numerous other applications.

Because potassium permanganate is used in the purification of cocaine, its worldwide trade is monitored by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Austria.

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