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Prussian blue

Prussian blue

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Prussian blue is a dark blue pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

 with the idealized formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 Fe
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

7(C
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

N
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

)18. Another name for the color Prussian blue is Berlin blue or, in painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, Parisian blue. Turnbull's blue is the same substance but is made from different reagent
Reagent
A reagent is a "substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction, or added to see if a reaction occurs." Although the terms reactant and reagent are often used interchangeably, a reactant is less specifically a "substance that is consumed in the course of...

s.

Prussian blue was one of the first synthetic pigments. It is employed as a very fine colloidal dispersion, as the compound itself is not soluble in water. It is famously complex, owing to the presence of variable amounts of other ions and the sensitive dependence of its appearance on the size of the colloidal particles formed when it is made. The pigment is used in paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

s, and it is the traditional "blue" in blueprint
Blueprint
A blueprint is a type of paper-based reproduction usually of a technical drawing, documenting an architecture or an engineering design. More generally, the term "blueprint" has come to be used to refer to any detailed plan....

s.

In medicine, Prussian blue is used as an antidote
Antidote
An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. The term ultimately derives from the Greek αντιδιδοναι antididonai, "given against"....

 for certain kinds of heavy metal poisoning
Heavy Metal Poisoning
Heavy Metal Poisoning is a song by American rock band Styx. It was included as the fifth track on their 1983 studio album Kilroy Was Here.The song in the story of Kilroy Was Here has the character of Dr Righteous preaching the evils of rock and roll...

 (caesium
Caesium
Caesium or cesium is the chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28 °C , which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at room temperature...

 and thallium
Thallium
Thallium is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray poor metal resembles tin but discolors when exposed to air. The two chemists William Crookes and Claude-Auguste Lamy discovered thallium independently in 1861 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy...

).

Prussian blue lent its name to prussic acid, which was derived from it, and to ferrocyanide
Ferrocyanide
Ferrocyanide is the name of the anion Fe64−. In aqueous solutions, this coordination complex is relatively unreactive. It is usually available as the salt potassium ferrocyanide, which has the formula K4Fe6....

 (originally meaning "blue compound of iron", from Latin ferrum and Greek κυανεος). As ferrocyanide is made of iron and CN ligand
Ligand
In coordination chemistry, a ligand is an ion or molecule that binds to a central metal atom to form a coordination complex. The bonding between metal and ligand generally involves formal donation of one or more of the ligand's electron pairs. The nature of metal-ligand bonding can range from...

s, reinterpreting the component "-cyanide" in the compound word produced the word "cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

" for compounds containing the CN radical.

History


Prussian blue [Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3] was probably synthesized for the first time by the paint maker Diesbach
Heinrich Diesbach
Heinrich Diesbach was a German painter and colormaker known for his accidental discovery of a method for making a blue known as Prussian blue, AKA iron blue, Berlin blue....

 in Berlin around the year 1706. Most historical sources do not mention a first name of Diesbach. Only Berger refers to him as Johann Jacob Diesbach. It was named "Preußisch blau" and "Berlinisch Blau" in 1709 by its first trader. The pigment was an important topic in the letters exchanged between Johann Leonhard Frisch and the president of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, between 1708 and 1716. It is first mentioned in a letter written by Frisch to Leibniz, from March 31, 1708. Not later than 1708, Frisch began to promote and sell the pigment across Europe. By August 1709, the pigment had been termed "Preussisch blau"; by November 1709, the German name "Berlinisch Blau" had been used for the first time by Frisch. Frisch himself is the author of the first known publication of Prussian blue in the paper Notitia Coerulei Berolinensis nuper inventi in 1710, as can be deduced from his letters. Diesbach had been working for Frisch since about 1701.

In 1731, Georg Ernst Stahl
Georg Ernst Stahl
Georg Ernst Stahl was a German chemist and physician.He was born at Ansbach. Having graduated in medicine at the University of Jena in 1683, he became court physician to Duke Johann Ernst of Sachsen Weimar in 1687...

 published an account of the first synthesis of Prussian blue. The story involves not only Diesbach but also Johann Konrad Dippel. Diesbach was attempting to create a red lake pigment
Lake pigment
A lake pigment is a pigment manufactured by precipitating a dye with an inert binder, usually a metallic salt. The word lake is a homonym of lake as body of water and does not refer to it....

 from cochineal
Cochineal
The cochineal is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-colour dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, this insect lives on cacti from the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and...

 but obtained the blue instead as a result of the contaminated potash
Potash
Potash is the common name for various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form. In some rare cases, potash can be formed with traces of organic materials such as plant remains, and this was the major historical source for it before the industrial era...

 he was using. He borrowed the potash from Dippel, who had used it to produce his "animal oil". No other known historical source mentions Dippel in this context. It is therefore difficult to judge the reliability of this story today. In 1724, the recipe was finally published by John Woodward.

To date, the "Entombment of Christ", dated 1709 by Pieter van der Werff
Pieter van der Werff
Pieter van der Werff was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He assisted his older brother, Adriaen van der Werff.-Life:...

 (Picture Gallery, Sanssouci
Sanssouci
Sanssouci is the name of the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, near Berlin. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles. While Sanssouci is in the more intimate Rococo style and is far smaller than its French Baroque counterpart, it too is...

, Potsdam) is the oldest known painting where Prussian blue was used. Around 1710, painters at the Prussian court were already using the pigment. At around the same time, Prussian blue arrived in Paris, where Antoine Watteau
Antoine Watteau
Jean-Antoine Watteau was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement...

 and later his successors Nicolas Lancret
Nicolas Lancret
Nicolas Lancret , French painter, was born in Paris, and became a brilliant depicter of light comedy which reflected the tastes and manners of French society under the regent Orleans....

 and Jean-Baptiste Pater
Jean-Baptiste Pater
Jean-Baptiste Pater was a French rococo painter.Born in Valenciennes, Pater was the son of sculptor Antoine Pater and studied under him before becoming a student of painter Jean-Baptiste Guide. Pater then moved to Paris, briefly becoming a pupil of Antoine Watteau in 1713. Watteau, despite...

 used it in their paintings.


This Prussian blue pigment is significant since it was the first stable and relatively lightfast blue pigment to be widely used following the loss of knowledge regarding the synthesis of Egyptian Blue
Egyptian Blue
Egyptian blue is chemically known as calcium copper silicate . It is a pigment used by Egyptians for thousands of years. It is considered to be the first synthetic pigment. The pigment was known to the Romans by the name caeruleum...

. European painters had previously used a number of pigments such as indigo dye
Indigo dye
Indigo dye is an organic compound with a distinctive blue color . Historically, indigo was a natural dye extracted from plants, and this process was important economically because blue dyes were once rare. Nearly all indigo dye produced today — several thousand tons each year — is synthetic...

, smalt
Smalt
Smalt is powdered glass, colored to a deep powder blue hue using cobalt ions derived from cobalt oxide . Smalt is used as a pigment in painting, and for surface decoration of other types of glass and ceramics, and other media...

, and Tyrian purple
Tyrian purple
Tyrian purple , also known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a purple-red natural dye, which is extracted from sea snails, and which was possibly first produced by the ancient Phoenicians...

, which tend to fade, and the extremely expensive ultramarine
Ultramarine
Ultramarine is a blue pigment consisting primarily of a double silicate of aluminium and sodium with some sulfides or sulfates, and occurring in nature as a proximate component of lapis lazuli...

 made from lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color....

. Japanese painters
Japanese painting
is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese visual arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the long history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of...

 and woodblock print artists
Woodblock printing in Japan
Woodblock printing in Japan is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre; however, it was also used very widely for printing books in the same period. Woodblock printing had been used in China for centuries to print books, long before the advent of movable type, but was only...

 likewise did not have access to a long-lasting blue pigment until they began to import Prussian blue from Europe.

In 1752 the French chemist Pierre J. Macquer made the important step of showing the Prussian blue could be reduced to a salt of iron and a new acid, which could be used to reconstitute the dye. The new acid, hydrogen cyanide, first isolated from Prussian blue in pure form and characterized about 1783 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a German-Swedish pharmaceutical chemist. Isaac Asimov called him "hard-luck Scheele" because he made a number of chemical discoveries before others who are generally given the credit...

, was eventually given the name Blausäure (literally "Blue acid") because of its derivation from Prussian blue, and in English became known popularly as Prussic acid. Prussian blue would also give the name to the ferrocyanide
Ferrocyanide
Ferrocyanide is the name of the anion Fe64−. In aqueous solutions, this coordination complex is relatively unreactive. It is usually available as the salt potassium ferrocyanide, which has the formula K4Fe6....

 and cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 family of compounds. Ferrocyanide (which is yellow) was coined as Neo Latin for "iron-containing blue material", since it was first isolated from Prussian blue. Cyanide, a colorless anion that forms in the process of making Prussian Blue, was named, in turn, for hydrogen cyanide (also colorless), and ultimately from ferrocyanide. It is for this reason that cyanide, even though the name of a colorless radical, is a Latinized form of the Greek word for "dark blue."

Production


Prussian blue is produced by oxidation of ferrous ferrocyanide salts. These white solids have the formula M2Fe[Fe(CN)6] where M+ = Na+ or K+. The iron in this material is all ferrous, hence the absence of deep color associated with the mixed valency. Oxidation of this white solid with hydrogen peroxide or sodium chlorate produces ferricyanide and affords Prussian Blue.

A "soluble" form of PB, K[FeIIIFeII(CN)6], which is really colloid
Colloid
A colloid is a substance microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance.A colloidal system consists of two separate phases: a dispersed phase and a continuous phase . A colloidal system may be solid, liquid, or gaseous.Many familiar substances are colloids, as shown in the chart below...

al, can be made from potassium ferrocyanide
Potassium ferrocyanide
Potassium ferrocyanide is the inorganic compound with formula K4[Fe6]•3H2O. It is the potassium salt of the coordination complex [Fe6]4-. This salt forms lemon-yellow monoclinic crystals.-Synthesis:...

 and iron(III):
K+ + Fe3+ + [FeII(CN)6]4- → KFeIII[FeII(CN)6]

The similar reaction of potassium ferricyanide
Potassium ferricyanide
Potassium ferricyanide is the chemical compound with the formula K3[Fe6]. This bright red salt contains the octahedrally coordinated [Fe6]3− ion. It is soluble in water and its solution shows some green-yellow fluorescence.-Preparation:...

 and iron(II) results in the same colloidal solution, because [FeIII(CN)6]3- is converted into ferrocyanide.

"Insoluble" Prussian blue is produced if in the reactions above an excess of Fe3+ or Fe2+, respectively, is added.  In the first case:
4Fe3+ + 3[FeII(CN)6]4- → FeIII[FeIIIFeII(CN)6]3 

"Turnbull's blue"



In former times, it was thought that addition of Fe(II) salts to a solution of ferricyanide
Ferricyanide
Ferricyanide is the anion [Fe6]3−.  It is also called hexacyanoferrate and in rare, but systematic nomenclature, hexacyanidoferrate...

 affords a material different from Prussian blue. The product was traditionally named "Turnbull's Blue" (TB). It has been shown, however, by means of X-ray diffraction and electron diffraction
Electron diffraction
Electron diffraction refers to the wave nature of electrons. However, from a technical or practical point of view, it may be regarded as a technique used to study matter by firing electrons at a sample and observing the resulting interference pattern...

 methods, that the structures of PB and TB are identical. The differences in the colors for TB and PB reflect subtle differences in the method of precipitation, which strongly affects particle size and impurity content.

Properties


Prussian blue is a microcrystalline
Microcrystalline
A microcrystalline material is a crystallized substance or rock that contains small crystals visible only through microscopic examination.-See also:* Macrocrystalline* Microcrystalline silicon* Protocrystalline* Rock microstructure...

 blue powder. It is insoluble, but the crystallite
Crystallite
Crystallites are small, often microscopic crystals that, held together through highly defective boundaries, constitute a polycrystalline solid. Metallurgists often refer to crystallites as grains.- Details :...

s tend to form a colloid
Colloid
A colloid is a substance microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance.A colloidal system consists of two separate phases: a dispersed phase and a continuous phase . A colloidal system may be solid, liquid, or gaseous.Many familiar substances are colloids, as shown in the chart below...

. Such colloids can pass through fine filters. Despite being one of the oldest known synthetic compounds, the composition of Prussian blue remained uncertain for many years. The precise identification of Prussian blue was complicated by three factors:
  1. Prussian blue is extremely insoluble but also tends to form colloids;
  2. Traditional syntheses tend to afford impure compositions;
  3. Even pure Prussian blue is structurally complex, defying routine crystallographic analysis.

Crystal structure


The chemical formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 of insoluble Prussian blue is Fe7(CN)18·xH2O, where x = 14–16. The structure was determined by using IR spectroscopy, Moessbauer spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography
X-ray crystallography is a method of determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal, in which a beam of X-rays strikes a crystal and causes the beam of light to spread into many specific directions. From the angles and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a...

, and neutron crystallography. Since X-ray diffraction cannot distinguish carbon from nitrogen, the location of these lighter elements is deduced by spectroscopic means as well as by observing the distances from the iron atom centers.

PB has a cubic lattice structure
Cubic crystal system
In crystallography, the cubic crystal system is a crystal system where the unit cell is in the shape of a cube. This is one of the most common and simplest shapes found in crystals and minerals....

. Soluble PB crystals contain interstitial K+ ions; insoluble PB has interstitial water instead.

In ideal insoluble PB crystals, the cubic framework is built from Fe(II)-C-N-Fe(III) sequences, with Fe(II)-carbon distances of 1.92 Å and Fe(III)-nitrogen distances of 2.03 Å. One-fourth of the sites of Fe(CN)6 subunits are vacant (empty), leaving three such groups. The empty nitrogen sites are filled with water molecules instead, which are coordinated to Fe(III).

The Fe(II) centers, which are low spin, are surrounded by six carbon ligand
Ligand
In coordination chemistry, a ligand is an ion or molecule that binds to a central metal atom to form a coordination complex. The bonding between metal and ligand generally involves formal donation of one or more of the ligand's electron pairs. The nature of metal-ligand bonding can range from...

s in an octahedral configuration. The Fe(III) centers, which are high spin, are octahedrally surrounded on average by 4.5 nitrogen atoms and 1.5 oxygen atoms (the oxygen from the six coordinated water molecules). Additional eight (interstitial) water molecules are present in the unit cell, either as isolated molecules or hydrogen bond
Hydrogen bond
A hydrogen bond is the attractive interaction of a hydrogen atom with an electronegative atom, such as nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine, that comes from another molecule or chemical group. The hydrogen must be covalently bonded to another electronegative atom to create the bond...

ed to the coordinated water.

The composition is notoriously variable due to the presence of lattice defects, allowing it to be hydrated to various degrees as water molecules are incorporated into the structure to occupy cation vacancies. The variability of Prussian blue's composition is attributable to its low solubility
Solubility
Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid, or gaseous chemical substance called solute to dissolve in a solid, liquid, or gaseous solvent to form a homogeneous solution of the solute in the solvent. The solubility of a substance fundamentally depends on the used solvent as well as on...

, which leads to its rapid precipitation
Precipitation (chemistry)
Precipitation is the formation of a solid in a solution or inside anothersolid during a chemical reaction or by diffusion in a solid. When the reaction occurs in a liquid, the solid formed is called the precipitate, or when compacted by a centrifuge, a pellet. The liquid remaining above the solid...

 without the time to achieve full equilibrium between solid and liquid.

Color


Prussian blue is strongly colored and tends towards black and dark purple when mixed into oil paint
Oil paint
Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the...

s. The exact hue depends on the method of preparation, which dictates the particle size. The intense blue color of Prussian blue is associated with the energy of the transfer of electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s from Fe(II) to Fe(III). Many such mixed-valence compounds absorb certain wavelengths of visible light resulting from intervalence charge transfer. In this case, orange-red light around 680 nanometers in wavelength is absorbed, and the transmitted light appears blue as a result.

Like most high chroma pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

s, Prussian blue cannot be accurately displayed on a computer display, but this swatch gives a common approximation, the sRGB colour #003153, intended for viewing on an output device with a gamma
Gamma correction
Gamma correction, gamma nonlinearity, gamma encoding, or often simply gamma, is the name of a nonlinear operation used to code and decode luminance or tristimulus values in video or still image systems...

 of 2.2:

_________

PB is electrochromic
Electrochromism
Electrochromism is the phenomenon displayed by some materials of reversibly changing color when a burst of charge is applied. Various types of materials and structures can be used to construct electrochromic devices, depending on the specific applications....

—changing from blue to colorless upon reduction
Redox
Redox reactions describe all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation state changed....

. This change is caused by reduction of the Fe(III) to Fe(II) eliminating the intervalence charge transfer that causes Prussian blue's color.

Pigment


Because it is easily made, cheap, non-toxic, and intensely colored, Prussian blue has attracted many applications. The dominant uses are for pigments: approximately 12,000 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s of Prussian blue are produced annually for use in black and bluish ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

s. A variety of other pigments also contain the material. Engineer's blue
Engineer's blue
Engineer's blue is a highly pigmented paste used to assist in the mating of two or more components.Joseph Whitworth popularized the first practical method of making accurate flat surfaces, during the 1830s, by using engineer's blue and scraping techniques on three trial surfaces...

 and the pigment formed on cyanotype
Cyanotype
Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. The process was popular in engineering circles well into the 20th century. The simple and low-cost process enabled them to produce large-scale copies of their work, referred to as blueprints...

s—giving them their common name blueprint
Blueprint
A blueprint is a type of paper-based reproduction usually of a technical drawing, documenting an architecture or an engineering design. More generally, the term "blueprint" has come to be used to refer to any detailed plan....

s. Certain crayon
Crayon
A crayon is a stick of colored wax, charcoal, chalk, or other materials used for writing, coloring, drawing, and other methods of illustration. A crayon made of oiled chalk is called an oil pastel; when made of pigment with a dry binder, it is simply a pastel; both are popular media for color...

s were once colored with Prussian blue (later relabeled Midnight Blue). It is also a popular pigment in paints. Similarly, Prussian blue is the basis for laundry bluing.

Medicine


Prussian blue's ability to incorporate monocations makes it useful as a sequestering agent for certain heavy metal poisons. Pharmaceutical-grade Prussian blue in particular is used for patients who have ingested thallium
Thallium
Thallium is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray poor metal resembles tin but discolors when exposed to air. The two chemists William Crookes and Claude-Auguste Lamy discovered thallium independently in 1861 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy...

 or radioactive
Radioactive decay
Radioactive decay is the process by which an atomic nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting ionizing particles . The emission is spontaneous, in that the atom decays without any physical interaction with another particle from outside the atom...

 caesium
Caesium
Caesium or cesium is the chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28 °C , which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at room temperature...

. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

, an adult male can eat at least 10 grams of Prussian blue per day without serious harm. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the "500 mg Prussian blue capsules, when manufactured under the conditions of an approved New Drug Application (NDA), can be found safe and effective therapy" in certain poisoning cases. Radiogardase (Prussian blue in soluble capsules ) is a commercial product for the removal of caesium-137
Caesium-137
Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope of caesium which is formed as a fission product by nuclear fission.It has a half-life of about 30.17 years, and decays by beta emission to a metastable nuclear isomer of barium-137: barium-137m . Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope of caesium which is formed...

 from the intestine and so indirectly from the bloodstream by intervening in the enterohepatic circulation of caesium-137, reducing the internal residency time (and exposure) by about two-thirds.

Laboratory histopathology stain for iron



Prussian blue is a common histopathology
Histopathology
Histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of tissue in order to study the manifestations of disease...

 stain used by pathologists to detect the presence of iron in biopsy specimens, such as in bone marrow samples. The original stain formula, known historically (1867) as "Perls' Prussian blue
Perls' Prussian blue
Prussian blue is a common stain used by pathologists to detect the presence of iron in biopsy specimens, such as deposits of storage ferritin in bone marrow biopsy samples....

" after its inventor, German pathologist Max Perls (1843–1881), used separate solutions of potassium ferrocyanide and acid to stain tissue (these are now used combined, just before staining). Iron deposits in tissue then form the purple Prussian blue dye in place, and are visualized as blue or purple deposits. The formula is also known as Perls Prussian blue and (incorrectly) as Perl's Prussian blue.

By machinists and toolmakers


Prussian blue in oil paint is the traditional material used for spotting metal surfaces such as surface plates and bearings for hand scraping. A thin layer of non-drying paste is applied to a reference surface and transfers to the high spots of the workpiece. The toolmaker then scrapes, stones, or otherwise removes the marked high spots. Prussian blue is preferable because it will not abrade the extremely precise reference surfaces as many ground pigments may.

Analytical chemistry


Prussian blue is formed in the Prussian blue assay for total phenols. Samples and phenolic standards are given acidic ferric chloride and ferricyanide which is reduced to ferrocyanide by the phenols. The ferric chloride and ferrocyanide react to form Prussian blue. Comparing the absorbance at 700 nm of the samples to the standards allows for the determination of total phenols.

Safety


Despite the fact that it is prepared from cyanide
Cyanide
A cyanide is a chemical compound that contains the cyano group, -C≡N, which consists of a carbon atom triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. Cyanides most commonly refer to salts of the anion CN−. Most cyanides are highly toxic....

 salts, Prussian blue is nontoxic because the cyanide groups are tightly bound to Fe. Other polymeric cyanometalates are similarly stable with low toxicity.

See also


  • Potassium ferrocyanide
    Potassium ferrocyanide
    Potassium ferrocyanide is the inorganic compound with formula K4[Fe6]•3H2O. It is the potassium salt of the coordination complex [Fe6]4-. This salt forms lemon-yellow monoclinic crystals.-Synthesis:...

  • Potassium ferricyanide
    Potassium ferricyanide
    Potassium ferricyanide is the chemical compound with the formula K3[Fe6]. This bright red salt contains the octahedrally coordinated [Fe6]3− ion. It is soluble in water and its solution shows some green-yellow fluorescence.-Preparation:...

  • Egyptian Blue
    Egyptian Blue
    Egyptian blue is chemically known as calcium copper silicate . It is a pigment used by Egyptians for thousands of years. It is considered to be the first synthetic pigment. The pigment was known to the Romans by the name caeruleum...

  • Han Purple
    Han Purple
    Han purple and Han blue are synthetic barium copper silicate pigments that were developed in China at least 2,000 years ago....

  • Gentian violet
  • Fluorescein
    Fluorescein
    Fluorescein is a synthetic organic compound available as a dark orange/red powder soluble in water and alcohol. It is widely used as a fluorescent tracer for many applications....



External links