Things about potassium you got to know - WorldOfChemicals

About Element Potassium

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Potassium is a chemical compound with atomic number 19 and chemical symbol as K. It is the element of s-block and group 1 of the periodic table. Potassium is one of the alkali metals in the periodic table, which means that it is a highly reactive metal with 1 valence. Potassium has 29 isotopes and 3 naturally occurring isotopes.

Etymology: The English name for the potassium came from the word “potash”, which refers to a method of extracting potassium salts.

Humphry Davy names the element potassium which was derived from the word potash, when he first isolated the pure element through electrolysis in 1807.

Properties

Chemical:

  • Potassium reacts with violently with water and gives off hydrogen gas after reaction.

  • Potassium is very active like other alkali metals.

  • Potassium can float on water as it is less dense than water.

  • Potassium does not react with the majority of the hydrocarbons like kerosene or mineral oil.

  • Potassium readily gets dissolved in ammonia.

  • Potassium reacts readily with all acids and with all non-metals like sulphur, chlorine, fluorine, phosphorous and nitrogen.

Physical:

  • Potassium is the second least dense metal.

  • Potassium is a soft solid element with low melting point of 63.5 degree Celsius and boiling point of 759 degree Celsius.

  • Potassium which is freshly cut has silver appearance, but it begins to turn gray on exposure to air.

  • Potassium has a density of 0.862 grams per cubic cm, which is less than that of water.

Potassium Uses:

  • Fertilizer: Potassium is important component of nutrition in plant and are found in majority of soil types. Potassium is used as a fertilizer in agriculture, horticulture and hydroponic culture.

  • Potassium sodium tartrate is the main component of baking powder and is also used in the mirrors silvering.

  • Potassium bromate is a strong oxidizer and is used to improve strength of the dough and raise the height.

  • Potassium bisulfite is utilized as a food preservative and it is also used in bleaching textiles and straw and for leather tanning.

  • Potassium hydroxide is a strong base used in industry to neutralize acids, to control pH and for producing potassium salts. Potassium hydroxide is also used in industrial cleaners to saponify fats and oils.

  • NaK an alloy of sodium and potassium is a liquid used as a heat transfer medium and a desiccant for the production of dry and air free solvents.

Interesting facts about Potassium:

  • In the earth’s crust, potassium is 7th most abundant element and 8th most abundant element in the human body.

  • The potassium symbol K signifies the term Kalium.

  • Potassium is stored in fuels like oil or kerosene as it reacts very quickly with air in its purest form.

  • People are supposed to consume every day 4,700 mg of potassium every day, which means 11 bananas per day for an average person.

  • Potassium actually is an electrolyte even though it is found in salts in nature.

  • Potassium is found virtually in everything as it makes up more than 2% of the earth crusts. It is essential for all plants and animals, that means whatever you consume have some amount potassium in it.

  • Potassium is radioactive.

  • Low composition of potassium in the body is called as hypokalemia.

  • Potassium is not found free in nature because of its high reactivity.


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