Numerous Features And Uses of Potassium Hydroxide

Potassium Hydroxide or Potash, as it is commonly known is an inorganic compound. It is chemically procured by reacting impure potassium with sodium hydroxide. Potassium being more reactive than sodium substitutes the latter and attaches itself to the hydroxyl ion to form pure potassium hydroxide. It is a strong base and hence is used to react against acids. This compound is mainly used to create chemical fertilizers, medicines, soaps, and cosmetics.

potassium hydroxide

Potassium being the leader in the metal reactivity series, gives rise to a highly corrosive base when reacted with a hydroxide. This hydroxide is found in the form of white translucent pellets. These pellets are also called flakes as potassium hydroxide is a desiccant. It is mostly devoid of water hence appears to be flaky. Since it has a high affinity for water, it is used to make other compounds devoid of water. When mixed with compounds that need to be rendered dry, potash takes in all the water, leaving the other compound dry.

potassium hydroxide

The combination of potash with water yields a lot of heat. Due to the heat content this hydroxide can produce, it is stable towards heat. This gives it a low melting point, making it a favoured choice for making rods and casts, or items that can endure heat yet are not large on the surface area. Soaps are also made of this hydroxide. These soaps are soft, soluble and have more cleaning agents in them than the soaps that are made from Sodium Hydroxide. Potash is a strong base and has strong alkali properties. This makes it a potential component for alkali batteries, for making alkali solutions, and as a reactor for strong acids. To yield salts, potassium hydroxide is reacted with an acid. This is done because when an acid reacts with a base, it yields salt and water only.

Some of the important facts about potash are as follows:

• Formula: KOH
• Colour/Odour: White/Odourless Solid, flaky
• Melting/Boiling Point: 406⁰C /1327⁰C
• Solubility: Soluble in water, alcohol, and glycerol. Insoluble in ether and liquid ammonia.
• Structure: Rhombohedral
• Reactivity: Basic

These features account for the uses of potassium hydroxide and to know more click here.


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