Potassium amyl xanthate

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Potassium amyl xanthate
Potassium amyl xanthate.svg
Preferred IUPAC name
Potassium O-pentyl carbonodithioate
Other names
potassium pentylxanthogenate
potassium-O-pentyl dithiocarbonate
3D model (JSmol)
EC Number
  • 220-329-5
  • InChI=1S/C6H12OS2.K/c1-2-3-4-5-7-6(8)9;/h2-5H2,1H3,(H,8,9);/q;+1/p-1 checkY
  • InChI=1S/C6H12OS2.K/c1-2-3-4-5-7-6(8)9;/h2-5H2,1H3,(H,8,9);/q;+1/p-1
  • CCCCCOC(=S)[S-].[K+]
Molar mass 202.37 g·mol−1
Appearance Pale yellow or yellow powder
Density 1.073 g/cm3
GHS labelling:
GHS02: FlammableGHS07: Exclamation markGHS09: Environmental hazard
H228, H302, H312, H315, H319, H335, H411
P210, P240, P241, P261, P264, P270, P271, P273, P280, P301+P312, P302+P352, P304+P340, P305+P351+P338, P312, P321, P322, P330, P332+P313, P337+P313, P362, P363, P370+P378, P391, P403+P233, P405, P501
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Potassium amyl xanthate (/pəˈtæsiəm ˌæmɪl ˈzænθeɪt/) is an organosulfur compound with the chemical formula CH3(CH2)4OCS2K. It is a pale yellow powder with a pungent odor that is soluble in water. It is widely used in the mining industry for the separation of ores using the flotation process.

Production and properties[edit]

As typical for xanthates, potassium amyl xanthate is prepared by reacting n-amyl alcohol with carbon disulfide and potassium hydroxide.[1]

CH3(CH2)4OH + CS2 + KOH → CH3(CH2)4OCS2K + H2O

Potassium amyl xanthate is a pale yellow powder. Its solutions are relatively stable between pH 8 and 13 with a maximum of stability at pH 10.[2]

Related compounds[edit]

  • Sodium amyl xanthate is used in the separation of nickel and copper from their ores.[3]


The LD50 is 90-148 mg/kg (oral, rat). [4]

It is a biodegradable compound.


  1. ^ Charles C. Price and Gardner W. Stacy (1948). "p-nitrophenyl sulfide". Organic Syntheses. 28: 82.; Collective Volume, vol. 3, p. 667
  2. ^ J. Dyer, L. H. Phifer, Macromolecules 2 (1969) 111. R. J. Millican, C. K. Sauers, J. Org. Chem. 44 (1979) 1964.
  3. ^ Kerfoot, Derek G. E. (2005). "Nickel". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_157.
  4. ^ Kathrin-Maria Roy "Xanthates" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.