Air & Water Reactions
Hygroscopic. Water soluble.
Potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt that is used in a variety of areas. The dominant application of potassium chloride is to serve as a fertilizer, which offers potassium to plants and prevents them from certain diseases. Besides, it can be applied in food and medical industry. As a treatment for hypokalemia, potassium chloride pills are taken to balance the blood's potassium levels and prevent potassium deficiency in the blood. In food industry, it serves as a electrolyte replenisher and a good salt substitute for food, as well as a firming agent to give consistent texture to food, thus to strengthen its structure.
- Potassium chloride is a widely used reagent in biochemistry and molecular biology. It is a component of phosphate buffered saline (PBS, Product No. P 3813) and of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) buffer (50 mM KCl).
- KCl is also used in studies of ion transport and potassium channels.
- KCl is also utilized in the solubilization, extraction, purification, and crystallization of proteins.
- The use of KCl in the crystallization of histone core octamers has been reported.
Potassium chloride (KCl), commonly referred to as muriate of potash, is the most common source of potash (K2O), and accounts for about 95 % of world potash production. Virtually all (90 %) commercial potash is extracted from natural sources of potassium salt deposits occurring in thin beds in large salt basins formed by the evaporation of ancient seas. Present-day salt lakes and natural brines represent about 10 % of total recoverable potash. Extraction is followed by milling, washing, screening, flotation, crystallization, refining and drying.
More than 90 % of the total KCl consumption is used for fertilizer production. Production of potassium hydroxide accounts for more than 90 % of the non-fertilizer or industrial use of KCl. KOH is also used in the production of some agricultural-grade liquid fertilizers. uses of KCl include:
- Potassium chloride (KCl) is inorganic salt used for making fertilizers, since the growth of many plants is limited by their potassium intake. Potassium in plants is important for the osmotic and ionic regulation, plays a key role in the water homeostasis and is closely connected with processes involved in the protein synthesis.
- In photography. In buffer solutions, electrode cells.
- Potassium chloride may be used for the preparation of phosphate buffered saline, and for the extraction and solubilization of proteins.
- Used in buffer solutions, medicine, scientific applications, and food processing.
- Used in nutritent; gelling agent; salt substitute; yeast food.
- food/foodstuff additives: KCl is used as a nutrient and/or dietary supplement food additive. KCl also serves as a potassium supplement of animal feed.
- pharmaceutical products: KCl is an important therapeutic agent, which is used mainly in the treatment of hypokalemia and associated conditions. Hypokalemia (potassium deficiency) is a potentially fatal condition in which the body fails to retain sufficient potassium to maintain health.
- laboratory chemicals: KCl is used in electrode cells, buffer solutions, and spectroscopy.
- drilling mud for oil production industry: KCl is used as conditioner in oil drilling muds and as a shale stabilizer to prevent swelling.
- flame retardants and fire preventing agents: KCl is used as a component in dry chemical fire extinguisher.
- anti-freezing agents: KCl is used to melt ice on streets and driveways.
Flammability data is not available, but Potassium chloride is probably nonflammable.
Potassium chloride is not in general strongly reactive. Violent reaction with BrF3 and with a mixture of sulfuric acid potassium permanganate mixture . Reacts with concentrated sulfuric acid to generate fumes of hydrogen chloride.
About 4-5% of potash production is used in industrial applications (UNIDOIFDC, 1998). In 1996, the world supply of industrial grade potash was close to 1.35 Mt K2O. This industrial material is 98-99% pure, compared with the agricultural potash specification of 60% K2O minimum (equivalent to 95% KCl). Industrial potash should contain at least 62% K2O and have very low levels of Na, Mg, Ca, SO4 and Br. This high-grade potash is produced by only a few producers in worldwide.
Potassium hydroxide (KOH), also known as caustic potash, is the largestvolume K product for non-fertilizer use. It is produced by the electrolysis of industrial KCl and is widely used for manufacturing soaps, detergents, grease, catalysts, synthetic rubber, matches, dyes and insecticides. Caustic potash is also as a liquid fertilizer and as an ingredient in alkaline batteries and photographic film processing chemicals.
Potassium hydroxide is a raw material in the production of various K salts, mainly K carbonates, and also citrates, silicates, acetates, etc. Potassium carbonate confers excellent clarity to glass thus is used for most fine optical lenses, eyeglasses, fine crystal, glassware, chinaware and TV tubes. Potassium bicarbonate is used largely in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Potash-derived compounds and salts are also used in the production of metal fluxes, cured meats, tempered steel, paper fumigants, case hardened steel, bleaching agents, baking powder, cream of tartar and beverages. Worldwide, industrial KCl is estimated to be used as follows: detergents and soaps, 30-35%; glass and ceramics, 25-28%; textiles and dyes 20-22%; chemicals and drugs, 13-15%; and other uses, 7-5% (UNIDO-IFDC, 1998).
Dissolve it in conductivity water, filter it, and saturate it with chlorine (generated from conc HCl and KMnO4). Excess chlorine is boiled off, and the KCl is precipitated by HCl (generated by dropping conc HCl into conc H2SO4). The precipitate is washed with water, dissolved in conductivity water at 90-95o, and crystallised by cooling to about -5o. The crystals are drained at the centrifuge, dried in a vacuum desiccator at room temperature, then fused in a platinum dish under N2, cooled and stored in a desiccator. Potassium chloride has also been sublimed in a stream of pre-purified N2 gas and collected by electrostatic discharge [Craig & McIntosh Can J Chem 30 448 1952].
Potassium chloride is an essential constituent of the body for intracellular osmotic pressure and buffering, cell permeability, acid-base balance, muscle contraction and nerve function.
SYMPTOMS: Large doses of Potassium chloride usually induce vomiting, so acute intoxication by mouth is rare. If no pre-existing kidney damage, it is rapidly excreted. Poisoning disturbs the rhythm of heart. Large doses by mouth can cause gastrointestinal irritation, purging, weakness, and circulatory disturbances.
ChEBI: A metal chloride salt with a K(+) counterion.
Potassium chloride, KCI, also known as potassium muriate and sylvite, is a colorless crystalline solid with a salty taste that melts at 776°C (1420 OF). It is soluble in water, but insoluble in alcohol. Potassium chloride is used in fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, photography, and as a salt substitute.