Caustic Potash, Potash lye, Potassium Hydrate
25 Kg PP/PE Bags
Potassium Hydroxide is an odorless, white or slightly yellow color compound present either in crystal or liquid form and is composed of one potassium cation and one hydroxide anion. It is a chemical inorganic compound with formula KOH and is commonly known as Caustic Potash. It is a strong base along with sodium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide and few other metal hydroxides and it also resembles with sodium hydroxide in its chemical properties and applications. It is commercially sold as translucent pellets which sticky when exposed to air as it is hygroscopic in nature. KOH dissolves readily in water and this dissolution process is exothermic and it forms a strong alkaline caustic solution.
Previously, it was created by adding potassium carbonate (potash) to a strong solution of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime), causing a metathesis reaction in which calcium carbonate precipitated, leaving potassium hydroxide in solution:
Ca(OH)2 + K2CO3 → CaCO3 + 2 KOH
Potassium hydroxide is obtained by filtering the precipitated calcium carbonate and boiling the solution. It was the primary method of producing potassium hydroxide until the late nineteenth century, when it was largely supplanted by the current method of electrolysis of potassium chloride solutions. The procedure is similar to that used to produce sodium hydroxide.
2 KCl + 2 H2O → 2 KOH + Cl2 + H2
On the cathode, hydrogen gas forms as a by-product, concurrently, anodic oxidation of the chloride ion occurs, producing chlorine gas as a by-product. This process requires the separation of the anodic and cathodic spaces in the electrolysis cell.
Soap and Detergent Industry
Potassium hydroxide is a key ingredient in the production of liquid soaps. It reacts with fatty acids to form potassium salts (potassium soaps), which contribute to the cleaning properties of soaps.
Potassium hydroxide is used in agriculture to adjust the pH of soils. It can neutralize acidic soils, providing a more suitable environment for plant growth. It also serves as a source of potassium, an essential nutrient for plants.