Potassium permanganate is very commonly used chemical. It is cheap and very effective and available at most chemists’ shops. It is available in purple crystalline form or purple solution. It is also called as Condi’s crystals and permanganate of potash. It is an inorganic compound and soluble in water.
It has strong oxidizing properties which make it a useful chemical for variety of uses. As medical application it is used as an antiseptic. Another application is for treatment of fungicide or toenail fungus. Very common application used by army of potassium permanganate has been to purification of water to get drinkable water. The drinking water purified with potassium permanganate causes stains on the teeth. As such the practice of purification of water with this chemical is now discontinued.
Crystals of potassium permanganate are dissolved in warm water to get a purple solution which is very useful for treatment of various skin conditions like eczema, fungicide and dermatitis. Treatment of the skin conditions by dipping in the potassium permanganate solution is found very effective. But the problem associated with this type of treatment is the formation of the stains on the discolorations on towel and the other material used to take bath. This problem can be taken care by controlling the concentration of the solution using the right quantity of the crystal powder. If the concentration is 1:10,000 the solution has a pink color. The solution turns to a blackish color if excess of the crystals are dissolved. Potassium permanganate in the form of a very dilute solution were earlier used as an antiseptic wash for treatment of vaginal thrush, continuous urine infections, and vulvovaginitis occurring in children as well adults. This was also used as vaginal douche after childbirth before the introduction of antibiotics used now.
Use of Potassium permanganate in Fisheries:
Potassium permanganate has been used for treatment of various diseases and parasite and external bacterial and fungal infections found in the fish. Potassium permanganate is a chemical oxidizing agent. It is used to improve the quality of water in fish pond. Organic matter including algae, bacteria, dissolved organics, and organic bottom sediments are generally present in a fish pond. It oxidizes the organic matter dissolved in water. As a result the oxygen requirement in the pond is reduced. The excessive quantity of potassium permanganate may result in the death of the fish in pond. Therefore, it is important to exactly estimate water volume in pond to achieve both a cost-effective and biologically effective treatment. Weak solution will result in an insufficient treatment and re-treatment will be required. Pond water volume can be measured in area of pond surface multiplied by the average water depth. This will help in finding out the exact quantity of crystals required. Potassium permanganate is also used as a pest control for the parasitic nudibranchs in your aquarium. Frequent treatment of a pond may also harm the fish. One should wait at four to five days before another treatment. If fish do not respond to treatment, re-check fish to confirm the diagnosis. The solution should be spread uniformly throughout the pond. The pond should be aerated after the treatment
Potassium permanganate is used for purification of water to remove iron and magnesium. These metals impart an unpleasant color and unpalatable taste to water. So it is necessary to remove them to make water potable. The water collected from deep ground sources is mostly treated by mixing potassium permanganate. One of the useful applications of potassium permanganate is to reduce the formation of rust thus reduce corroding of the water pipes and water equipment. Cholera and other water born diseases can be avoided by killing the bacteria by washing the fruits and vegetables with a very weak solution of potassium permanganate. All cooking utensils and chop board also should be washed and cleaned in a similar way.
The excellent oxidizing property of potassium permanganate makes it very useful in so many other applications. It is used as an oxidizing agent in many chemical reactions in laboratories and industry. It is used as disinfectant and deodorizers. It is used in the synthesis process of many organic compounds. In waste water treatment potassium permanganate is used to neutralize hydrogen sulfide. Along with an indicator it can be used to test for alcohol consumption. Like that it has numerous applications
Proper Storage and Handling:
However, it is required to handle and store this chemical properly. The following tips can be easily followed: Wear rubber or surgical gloves when handling this chemical since it quickly reacts with the skin forming dark brown stains. Due to its strong oxidizing property it should be kept away from highly oxidizable substances.
It reacts with sulfuric acid very strongly as an explosive. Utmost care is required to avoid its coming in contact with sulfuric acid.
Potassium permanganate can thus be used for many applications. But you should get the proper advice for its application and ensure proper handling and storage.