Prussian Blue (14038-43-8)

Prussian Blue Chemical Structure

What is Prussian Blue?

Prussian blue (also known as Berlin blue, Brandenburg blue, or Parisian or Paris blue in painting) was initially developed as a paint and ink pigment. The name Prussian blue originated in the 18th century, when the compound was employed to color Prussian army uniform jackets. It is a deep blue pigment consisting of iron cations, cyanide anions, and water and is produced when the oxidation of ferrous ferrocyanide salts occurs.

It is used as an antidote for certain kinds of heavy metal poisoning and is listed on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.

The product is currently under development. Samples are available from R&D.
Name of Product Prussian Blue
IUPAC Name iron(2+);iron(3+);octadecacyanide
Synonyms Ferric Ferrocyanide; iron(III) hexacyanoferrate(II); Ferrocin; Parisian blue; Preussischblau; Turnbulls Blau; Berliner Blau; Brandenburg blue; Berlin blue; Sarum blue; Midnight blue
CAS No 14038-43-8
Molecular Formula C18Fe7N18
Molecular Weight 859.2 g/mol
Pubchem CID 2724251
Pubchem SID 475523906

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Form) Solid Powder or Opaque Crystals
2 Appearance (Colour) Deep Blue to Purple
3 Solubility Practically insoluble in water, diluted acids, and most common organic solvents


  • In medicine, Prussian blue is provided orally as an antidote for heavy metal poisoning, such as that caused by Thallium(I) and radioactive isotopes of Caesium.
  • It is a common histopathology stain that pathologists employ to detect the presence of iron in biopsies, such as bone marrow samples.
  • Prussian blue in an oily base has traditionally been the material of choice for identifying metal surfaces prior to hand scraping, particularly surface plates and bearings.
  • Prussian Blue/Prussian Blue Analogues and their derivatives can be employed as electrode materials in lithium-ion, sodium-ion, and potassium-ion batteries for reversible alkali-ion insertion and extraction.
  • It also serves as a pigment that is utilized frequently in the production of oil paintings, watercolors, dyes, and also in some cosmetic ingredients.


Q. How does Prussian Blue work?

Owing to the ion-exchange property of Prussian Blue and it’s high affinity for “soft” metalĀ cations, it works by binding to the metals in the digestive tract and prevents the body from absorbing them, thus working as an antidote for heavy metal poisoning, such as thallium and radioactive isotopes of caesium.

Q. Is Prussian blue toxic?

Attempts at self-treatment with Prussian blue dye grade are not recommended. The dye grade variety of Prussian blue should not be used as a therapy for radioactive contamination since it may cause harm.

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