"Chemical cut" experiment

How to make artificial blood

In the re­ac­tion of potas­si­um thio­cyanate and iron (III) chlo­ride, dark red Fe(SCN)₃ forms, which looks like blood.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • potas­si­um thio­cyanate;
  • iron chlo­ride (III);
  • dis­tilled wa­ter;
  • two beakers;
  • cot­ton balls;
  • a blunt knife.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Dis­solve sev­er­al grams of potas­si­um thio­cyanate and iron chlo­ride(III) in wa­ter in dif­fer­ent glass­es. Ap­ply a lit­tle potas­si­um thio­cyanate so­lu­tion to the skin. Rub the iron (III) chlo­ride so­lu­tion on the knife. Care­ful­ly, with­out ap­ply­ing force, run the knife along the part of the skin rubbed with the potas­si­um thio­cyanate so­lu­tion – a red mark will ap­pear on your hand which re­sem­bles a bleed­ing cut.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

In the re­ac­tion of potas­si­um thio­cyanate (KSCN) and iron (III) chlo­ride (Fe­Cl₃), dark red iron­thio­cyanate (III) (Fe(SCN)₃) forms:

Fe­Cl₃ + 3KSCN → Fe(SCN)₃ + 3KCl

This re­ac­tion prod­uct is very sim­i­lar to blood in col­or.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear pro­tec­tive glass­es and gloves. Fol­low gen­er­al safe­ty rec­om­men­da­tions. Chem­i­cal ex­per­i­ments must be car­ried out in full com­pli­ance with the leg­is­la­tion of your coun­try.

Warn­ing! Sub­stances of this ex­per­i­ment are tox­ic and high­ly dan­ger­ous for your health. Do not try this at home. Only un­der pro­fes­sion­al su­per­vi­sion.