Akzo Nobel is the largest manufacturer of inorganic thiocyanates, also called rhodanides. The product range includes ammonium, sodium and potassium thiocyanates. Ammonium and sodium thiocyanates can be delivered both as crystalline solids and as concentrated aqueous solutions. Potassium thiocyanate is available as a crystalline solid only.

Major Applications

Thiocyanates can be used in different applications in the textile and fibre industry, in agriculture, in metal and steel industry and in construction. In a number of applications either ammonium, sodium or potassium thiocyanate can be used. Among them are:

  • In agriculture, as raw material for the production of a number of herbicides and fungicides
  • In the oilfield industry, as a tracer of chemicals, because of the intense red color of the
    ferric-thiocyanate complex
  • As an intermediate for metal thiocyanates, e.g. CuSCN, which is used as an anti-fouling agent
    in ship paints
  • As a starting agent in the synthesis of certain medicines and dye
  • As an additive in the production of peroxodisulphates

Ammonium Thiocyanate (NH4SCN)

The major outlets specific to ammonium thiocyanate (NH4SCN) are:

  • In the textile industry, for various printing, dyeing and finishing operations
  • In the photographic industry as an acceleration in fixing baths
  • In agriculture, to stabilize various herbicides

Further uses are:

  • In the steel industry, for coating and as a corrosion inhibitor against acidic gases
  • In the metal industry, as an additive for silver and tin plating baths and for the etching of aluminum
  • In the nuclear power industry, as an extraction agent in the separation of hafnium and zirconium

Sodium Thiocyanate (NaSCN)

The main applications specific to sodium thiocyanate (NaSCN) are found:

  • In the agrochemicals industry, for herbicides and fungicides
  • In the fibre industry, as a spinning solvent for polyacrylnitril (PAN)
  • In the construction industry, as a hardening accelerator for cement and concrete mixes
  • As de-icing fluids for airplanes to increase the melting performance of the liquid and increasing passenger safety in the skies

Further uses are:

  • In the production of solid-cell batteries
  • In the production of ink for ink-jet printers
  • In hair dying, to reduce the duration of treatment
  • In combination with sodium percarbonate peroxhydrate
  • (2 Na2Co3 x 3 H2O2) and lactoperoxidase as a natural preservative

Potassium Thiocyanate (KSCN)

Potassium thiocyanate is used:

  • As an analytical reagent
  • In the synthesis of antibiotics and other pharmaceutical products
  • Electroplating of metals and surfaces

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