potassium sulphide

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A yellow-red or brown-red deliquescent solid, K2S, which is soluble in water and in ethanol but insoluble in diethyl ether; cubic; r.d. 1.80; m.p. 840°C. It is made industrially by reducing potassium sulphate with carbon at high temperatures in the absence of air. In the laboratory it may be prepared by the reaction of hydrogen sulphide with potassium hydroxide. The pentahydrate is obtained on crystallization. Solutions are strongly alkaline due to hydrolysis. It is used as an analytical reagent and as a depilatory. Potassium sulphide is generally regarded as a hazardous chemical with a fire risk; dusts of K2S have been known to explode.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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