Potassium isopropyl xanthate (PIPX) is a pale yellow to yellow salt. Technical grade xanthate salts are usually of 90–95% purity. Impurities include alkali-metal sulfide, sulfate, trithiocarbonates, thiosulfate, sulfite, or carbonate as well as residual raw material such as alcohol and alkali hydroxide. These salts are available commercially as powder, granules, flakes, sticks, and solutions are available.
Xanthate salts are produced by the reaction of an alcohol with potassium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. The reaction involves the attack of the alkoxide salt. Virtually any alcohol can be used in this reaction.
ROH + CS2 + KOH → ROCS2K + H2O
Potassium Isobutyl Xanthate is mainly used as a collector in the flotation of copper, lead, zinc etc, sulfide ores. It is especially effective in the flotation of various copper ores and pyrites in natural circuits.
It is also used as a hydrometallurgy precipitator and vulcanization of rubber accelerant.