In nature, we can find a large number of substances and elements, which interact with each other continuously. This interaction often involves some kind of chemical reaction, something that occurs even if we don’t see it with the naked eye. An example of this is potassium permanganate, which we will talk about throughout this article.
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The most common chemical reactions in nature are oxidation, which occurs when an element begins to lose electrons due to its interaction with oxygen. This reaction links to processes such as aging and cellular deterioration. However, it is very relevant and advantageous in different areas of our life or society. And even often, it is sought to generate compounds with great oxidative power.
The Formula of Potassium Permanganate
Violet permanganate reduces to the colorless Mn +2 cation in acidic solutions. In neutral solutions, permanganate is only reduced to MnO 2, a brown precipitate in which manganese has its +4 oxidation state. In alkaline solutions, it is reduced to its +6 state, giving K 2 MnO 4.
What is Potassium Permanganate?
Potassium permanganate is a chemical compound formed by a combination of potassium ions and permanganate, with a certain proportion and structure (its formula is KMnO4, which is equivalent to a combination of one potassium atom, another of manganese and four oxygen).
Violet or dark purple (mainly due to permanganate, although as it dissolves in increasing amounts of solvent, it can change its color and even lose it completely), it is a compound that does not start from carbon by what would it classifies as inorganic.
Oxidizing Agent and Chameleon Minerals
Also known as Condi crystals or chameleon minerals, potassium permanganate is a highly valued product in various fields and enjoys multiple possible applications, especially as it is a potent oxidizing agent. It can be found in the market in both liquid and solid forms and dissolves easily in water, alcohol, or acetone (among others). It is a product that is not per se flammable. However, it is incredibly corrosive, and it can generate violent and even explosive incendiary reactions when mixed with certain substances.
Some of its Main Applications
This compound is highly appreciated in different areas and activities, owning due to its high oxidative power, a series of properties that make it a beneficial product. Among the functions and applications for which potassium permanganate will use, we can highlight the following:
1. Water treatment
A d1. e most exciting and typical applications of potassium permanganate are the purification of large bodies of water, helping to eliminate bacteria and favoring the improvement of water quality. It will use, for example, in water pipes and drains, and also even in the purification of water. It operates in the treatment of some parasitic diseases of fish, and as an antidote in cases of phosphorus poisoning.
2. Preservation and Disinfection of Some Foods
Another of the uses of potassium permanganate is relating to the food field. Mainly, it uses to prevent the oxidation of fruits such as bananas and help their preservation even in the absence of refrigeration. In some regions, it uses as diluted to wash some foods due to its antiseptic action. In Africa, many people use it to soak vegetables to neutralize any bacteria that are present. For example, a dilute solution of permanganate can convert an organic compound with a carbon double bond to a diol.
3. Industrial Use
It uses as an oxidizing agent in many chemical reactions in the laboratory and industry. Potassium permanganate also has applications in industry or chemical research, allowing the transformation of matter through oxidation processes in such a way that it will enable obtaining different types of compounds and reagents. It also uses as a disinfectant and in deodorants Stronger solutions can oxidize a methyl group in an aromatic ring in a carboxyl group.
Although today it is a non-existent application, the use of potassium permanganate together with other components in photography was in the past, allowing the chemical reaction resulting from its mixture to use the first flashes.
Medical and Veterinary Uses
Potassium permanganate, in addition to the above applications, also has several relevant clinical applications. Now, since the high oxidative power of this compound makes it have a tremendous toxic and abrasive potential, it can only use at a medical or veterinary level when it dissolving in its entirety in large quantities (at least in proportion to the amount of potassium permanganate) in water or another substance. In fact, medical use is usually in a 1/10000 ratio.
The indications for this type of solution are usually limited to topical use, is a powerful antiseptic in different skin problems (such as dermatitis), some ulcers, or fungal infections on the skin (it is common in the feet). It also uses to relieve callus pain and sometimes even to treat hemorrhoids (in this case, a medical professional should always consult beforehand). Diluted solutions will operate as a mouthwash (0.25%), hand sanitizer (about 1%).
It also has astringent properties (that is, it causes tissue retraction and dries them out), which is why it sometimes uses in superficial wounds or skin disorders that cause suppuration.
Sometimes it will use to treat poisoning or poisoning. Also, in some gastric lavages caused, for example, by snake bites or white phosphorus. Hence, its use to treat hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of different parts of the body.
It also has veterinary uses, generally for treating skin and fungal infections in animals such as fish.
Some Other Uses of Potassium Permanganate
Risks, side effects, and contraindications of Potassium Permanganate
Potassium permanganate is useful in different areas, but the truth is that it is a hazardous compound if it not use with the caution it deserves. Not surprisingly, it is as we have said very oxidizing and even corrosive. So, it should not handle with bare skin.
Its dangerousness increases significantly. After ingesting being able to show great toxicity and even causing death if consumption use in sufficient quantity. In this sense, it can cause severe respiratory problems and even internal bleeding. Its vapors can also cause irritations and inflammations in the respiratory tract.
As for the diluted version for medical use. If accidental ingestion can cause nausea and intestinal problems, liver or kidney problems, cardiovascular depression, or edema. Likewise, in its topical use, it can cause irritations, burns, and even ulcers. It should not apply during pregnancy or lactation unless a doctor recommends. Also, It neither should those suffering from kidney disease or with problems or extensive injuries or ulcers.