Potassium hydroxide is a white crystalline and odorless solid inorganic compound with a chemical formula KOH. Also, it is a chemical compound known as Caustic Potash, lye, Potash lye, Potassium, Potassium hydrate in several forms like, pellet, flakes, and powder that is constituted of potassium, oxygen, and hydrogen. This is an alcohol and glycerol stable soluble and creates the salty taste solution and insoluble in ether and liquid ammonia.
There are different methods for the preparation of potassium hydroxide, but the most common one is to produce from the reaction of sodium hydroxide with impure potassium. But, it can participate in a different reaction. Given below are some of them. Shanghai Chemex is one of the most reputable manufacturers of this chemical in the world.
- To act as the strong base and creating an alkaline solution in water and other polar solvents like Sodium Gluconate;
- To be useful in analytical chemistry and titration;
- As a highly nucleophilic anion in organic reactions;
- To be highly reactive toward inorganic acid.
potassium hydroxide chemical and physical properties:
Application of Potassium Hydroxide
All those who use this compound should be aware of the safety measures which are to be followed for its daily use. In large amounts, potassium hydroxide could be toxic and its ingestion has to be controlled in minor doses. Also, while you use this chemical, you should use protective rubber gloves and goggles for your personal safety. Given below are some of its uses.
Precursor of other potassium compounds:
The production of many potassium salts is one of the main usages of this compound. These salts are cyanide, carbonate, permanganate, phosphate, and different silicates which are prepared by treating the oxide and acid with KOH. For instance, potassium phosphate is one of the important derivatives can be used as a fertilizer or agrochemical in various industry.
Production of biodiesel:
Transesterification of the triglyceride in vegetable oils is the popular method for the manufacturer of biodiesel. Glycerin is another final product of biodiesel reactions that act as a cheap food supplement for livestock
Production of soft soap:
Potassium soap could be prepared by saponification of fats with KOH. The main advantage of this kind of soap is to be soft and more soluble. Therefore, it will be a more effective cleaning agent than sodium soaps.
Usage as an electrolyte:
Aqueous potassium hydroxide would act as an electrolyte in alkaline batteries. Potassium hydroxide is more conductive than sodium hydroxide ones.
- Strong chemical base with the ability to degrade materials
- Bonding between KOH and NaOH in chemical synthesis and lead to resulting salts
- Agents of cleaning disinfect surfaces and materials which are resistant to corrosion by KOH.
- As a semiconductor in chip fabrication
- The main active ingredient in manicure treatments
- Removal of hair from animal hides
- Usage in preshave products and some shave creams
- Identification of some species of fungi
- Petroleum and refinement of natural gas in order to remove organic acid and sulfur compounds
Handling and toxicity:
There are no studies about the toxicity of potassium hydroxide, but experimental concern reveals some side effects on the health of humans such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin blistering, and burns. Alkaline potassium hydroxide also destroys soft tissues that cause deep burns. Moreover, it can hydroxide light metals and behave as a caustic agent in the industry. Potassium hydroxide can irritate the lungs and it is essential to wear a protective mask in exposure to it in order to reduce coughing, phlegm, and shortness of breath.