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Potassium carbonate is a white salt, soluble in water (insoluble in alcohol), which forms a strongly alkaline solution. It can be made as the product of potassium hydroxide's absorbent reaction with carbon dioxide. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is used in the production of soap and glass.
Additional recommended knowledge
Potassium carbonate was first identified in 1742 by Antonio Campanella and is the primary component of potash and the more refined pearlash or salts of tartar. Historically pearlash was created by baking potash in a kiln to remove impurities. The fine white powder remaining was the pearlash. The first patent issued by the U.S. Patent Office was awarded to Samuel Hopkins in 1790 for an improved method of making pearlash.
In late 18th century North America, before the development of baking powder, pearlash began to be used as a leavening agent in "quick breads".
Other terms for potassium carbonate:
Today potassium carbonate is prepared commercially by the electrolysis of potassium chloride. The resulting potassium hydroxide is then carbonated using carbon dioxide to form potassium carbonate, which is often used to produce other potassium compounds.
Pearlash has been used for soap, glass, and china production.
Mixed with water it causes an exothermic reaction that results in a temperature change, producing heat.
In cuisine, it is used as an ingredient in the production of grass jelly, a food consumed in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Potassium carbonate is being used as the electrolyte in many cold fusion experiments.
A Dictionary of Science, Oxford University Press Inc., New York 2003
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Potassium_carbonate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|