Potassium carbonate (CAS 584-08-7)
Potassium carbonate is the inorganic compound with the formula K2CO3. It is a white salt, which is soluble in water. It is deliquescent, often appearing as a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is mainly used in the production of soap and glass.
– for soap, glass, and dishware production
– as a mild drying agent where other drying agents, such as calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate, may be incompatible. It is not suitable for acidic compounds, but can be useful for drying an organic phase if one has a small amount of acidic impurity. It may also be used to dry some ketones, alcohols, and amines prior to distillation.
– in cuisine, where it has many traditional uses. It is an ingredient in the production of grass jelly, a food consumed in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines, as well as Chinese hand-pulled noodles and mooncakes. It is also used to tenderize tripe. German gingerbread recipes often use potassium carbonate as a baking agent, although in combination with hartshorn. Use of potassium carbonate must be limited to a certain amount to prevent harm, and should not be used without guidance.
– as a buffering agent in the production of mead or wine.
– in antique documents, it is reported to have been used to soften hard water.
– as a fire suppressant in extinguishing deep-fat fryers and various other B class-related fires.
– in condensed aerosol fire suppression, although as the byproduct of potassium nitrate.
– as an ingredient in welding fluxes, and in the flux coating on arc-welding rods.
– as an animal feed ingredient to satisfy the potassium requirements of farmed animals such as broiler breeder chickens.