Potassium carbonate, in addition to being a chemical compound, is one of the main constituents of potash, and refined ash or tartar salt.
Today, to produce this salt, two chemical compounds, carbon dioxide CO2 and potassium hydroxide KOH, react with each other. Potassium carbonate and water are produced after the reaction. Finally, by purification and evaporation, the existing water is separated and pure potassium carbonate is obtained. It is worth noting that 90% of the total production of K2CO3 in the world is used to produce fertilizer, and this fertilizer provides the potassium needed by plants to stay healthy and grow optimally.
Potassium carbonate has a variety of uses and is commonly used in the glass, textile, food, detergent, cosmetics, chemical, fertilizer, soap, and glass industries. It is also used in the production of paints and printed inks.
Potassium Carbonate Uses:
Due to the wide range of uses of potassium carbonate, this compound is produced and marketed in various food and industrial grades.
One of the important uses of this material is to produce fertilizer from it. Potassium carbonate due to its potassium element helps to retain water in the soil and strengthens the roots and stems and growth of plants. Due to the high solubility of this substance in water, it can be transferred and absorbed simultaneously to all parts of the soil and all parts of the roots.
Potassium carbonate is most widely used in the glass industry, accounting for more than 40% of demand and consumption. The ceramic industry is also the second consumer of this material with a share of 10%. The main reason that such an expensive material is used instead of soda in the glass industry is its greater compatibility with lead, barium, and strontium oxides.
Features of glass produced by this method include higher electrical resistance, higher refractive index, higher luminosity, and efficiency in a higher temperature range. In addition, it improves the behavior of colors in glass.
The emollient properties of this substance have made it widely used in the detergent industry, including soap. Soaps that contain potassium carbonate are much milder than sodium-based soaps.
Compounds that contain potassium are very good for the body and promote cardiovascular health and bone density and stiffness. This substance is also used as a regulator of acidity and pH in the production of nutrients such as chocolate, soft drinks, confectionery, sports supplements, custard powder, etc.
This chemical compound is known as a safe additive in food and drug organizations in Europe and the United States, and its use as an additive in the food industry has not been reported to have any adverse or destructive effects. According to the FDA recommendation, the permissible dose of this substance is 100 mg per dose, and its use in high doses in sports supplements can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. The use of foods containing this substance is also not recommended for women during pregnancy and lactation.
Reduce Water Hardness:
Magnesium and calcium are two causes of water hardness, and the use of potassium carbonate prevents the accumulation of these elements and eliminates this water hardness. If used in high doses, this substance irritates the skin, but in low and medium concentrations will not be harmful to human health.
Other applications of this compound include making glazes for pottery, producing pigments and printing inks, tanning and polishing leather, dyeing, washing and polishing wool, and as fluxes in metal plating.
This material reduces the melting point of other materials and can be used to clean metals. This chemical compound is also used to extinguish high-temperature fires and prevent the spread of fire. It is more effective than sodium bicarbonate in extinguishing gas and oil fires.
4 thoughts on “What is Potassium Carbonate Used For?”
Is potassium carbonate used in soap making?
Soap is a chemical reaction between sodium hydroxide and fat or oil. The product of this reaction is glycerin and sodium salts of fatty acids (soap). Potassium carbonate as the raw material of soap, instead of burning alkalis and then converting fatty acids into soap, neutralizes fats with sodium and potassium. This process is so powerful that it removes even insoluble oils such as vegetable oils, sweat stains, and engine grease – even in acidic or hard water environments.
Can potassium carbonate be used in welding?
Yes. Potassium carbonate is used as a component in welding fluxes and flux coating on arc welding rods.