Chemical Formula For Potassium Permanganate [Properties & Uses]

Looking for the chemical formula for potassium permanganate? You should read this article.

Potassium permanganate or Condy’s crystals or permanganate of potash is an inorganic compound that contains potassium, manganese, and oxygen atoms. Potassium permanganate was first prepared as a disinfectant and deodorizer. But, it has found more uses than these.

The preparation of potassium permanganate goes through two major steps. The product of the first, potassium manganate, is sometimes mistaken to be potassium permanganate. At the end of this article, you will be able to tell the differences.

Beyond the chemical formula, this article also details the properties and extensive use of potassium permanganate.

What is the chemical formula for potassium permanganate?

The chemical formula for potassium permanganate is KMnO4.

KMnO4 is a salt prepared from potassium hydroxide (KOH) and manganese oxide (MnO2) in the presence of an oxidizing agent such as potassium chlorate (KClO3) or potassium nitrate (KNO3).

The procedure first produces potassium manganate (K2MnO4), a green pasty compound. K2MnO4 then goes through boiling water and Cl2.

During the boiling process, carbon dioxide and ozonized air are passed through the solution until it forms the purple potassium permanganate.

In chemical equations, the reaction is as follows:

  • 6KOH + 3MnO2 + 6KClO3 → 3K2MnO4 + 6KCl + 3H2O
  • 6K2MnO4 + 3Cl2 → 6KMnO4 + 6KCl

Physical properties of potassium permanganate

  • Potassium permanganate is an odorless, purple crystalline solid salt
  • It is a polar compound that is soluble in water, acetone, pyridine, methanol, ethanol, and acetic acid
  • KMnO4 has a molecular weight of 158.034 g/mol and a density of 2.703 g/cc
  • KMnO4 has a boiling point of 212°F (100°C) and melting point of 464°F (240°C)

Chemical properties of potassium permanganate

  • Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizing agent. It can serve as an oxidant in a wide range of reactions. It readily transfers oxygen to other compounds and accepts electrons
  • Although KMnO4 by itself is not combustible, it supports the combustion of other materials
  • When KMnO4 decomposes, it yields potassium manganate and manganese oxide. The reaction is as follows:

2KMnO4  →   K2MnO4 + MnO+ O

  • Upon reaction with an alkali hydroxide, KMnO4 yields potassium manganate and gives off oxygen gas

4KMnO4 + 4KOH → 4K2MnO4 + 2H2O + O2

What is the chemical formula for the dissolution of potassium permanganate in water?

When KMnO4 dissolves in water, it yields:

KMnO4 ⟶ K+ + MnO4 (aq)

ΔH = +43.56 kJ/mol

What are the uses of potassium permanganate?

Potassium permanganate has a wide range of uses. Some of these uses are:

  • Potassium permanganate has disinfecting and deodorizing properties. It can help cure skin conditions such as foot fungal infections, bacterial infections, and eczema
  • Potassium permanganate is used to determine permanganate value in qualitative analysis
  • Potassium permanganate is a good bleaching agent and an essential component of pesticides
  • KMnO4 also works as a regeneration chemical in the treatment of well water. It helps to remove hydrogen sulfide and iron from the water
  • This compound is also used in tanning leathers and printing fabrics
  • Furthermore, it can even be used as a bleaching agent, as a pesticide, and as an antiseptic
  • Potassium permanganate is used as an oxidizing agent in the industrial production of many important compounds
  • Many hospitals and drugstores sell potassium permanganate solution as a sore throat balm. When gargled, it can ease the discomfort and aid treatment
  • In addition, Baeyer’s reagent, a combination of KMnO4 and KOH, is used  in laboratories to detect the presence of unsaturation in organic compounds
  • Potassium permanganate is also used in the manufacture of dry cells


What is the charge of potassium in potassium permanganate?

The charge of potassium in potassium permanganate is +1. As an alkali metal, it has a +1 oxidation state.

What is the oxidation state of manganese in potassium permanganate?

The oxidation number of manganese in manganese permanganate is +7.

The oxidation numbers of the potassium and oxygen atoms are +1 and -2 respectively. Mathematically,

1 + Mn + 4(-2) = 0

1 + Mn – 8 = 0

Mn – 7 = 0

Mn = +7

Is KMnO4 an acid or base?

KMnO4 is neither an acid nor a base. It is a neutral salt made from a strong acid and strong base.


KMnO4 is the chemical formula for potassium permanganate or Condy’s crystals or permanganate of potash. This disinfecting and deodorizing compound is produced from potassium hydroxide and manganese oxide.

KMnO4 is a powerful oxidizing agent in acidic, basic, and neutral mediums. This property is why it is an important agent in the production of various chemical compounds.

Also, learn about the charge of manganese in various manganese compounds.

Thanks for reading.