Potassium Acetate

Potassium acetate is also known as potassium salt of acetic acid. The potassium acetate formula is CH₃CO₂K. On the reaction of a potassium base, which can either be potassium carbonate or potassium hydroxide with acetic acid, it results in the formation of potassium acetate. Potassium acetate is also known as Potassium ethanoate, diuretic salt, acetic acid, or potassium salt. It plays an important macromineral role in various physiological functions and maintaining normal renal function and blood pressure. It is also required for nerve conduction,  cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and nucleic acid synthesis. 

Potassium Acetate Structure

CH₃COOK is the potassium acetate chemical formula. Potassium acetate molecular weight is 98.14 g/mol. As clear from the formula, Potassium Acetate is formed by one acetate anion CH₃COO- and one potassium cation K+. Both the ions are bonded by ionic bonds. However, the elements of anion acetate are bonded by covalent bonds and both the oxygen have a resonance stabilization between them. 

Potassium Acetate Properties

In a potassium salt, an equal number of acetate and potassium ions are present. Potassium acetate does not occur naturally. Diuretic salt is a hydrophilic white crystalline powder that is soluble in water and alcohol. The pH value of diuretic salt lies between 7.5-9.0. The salt was used earlier as expectorants and diuretics that it lowers the blood pressure by flushing out the salt from the body. Potassium present in the salt helps in maintaining the blood pressure. It also helps in maintaining intracellular toxicity which is needed for smooth muscle contraction, and normal renal function. 

Chemical Properties of Potassium Acetate

  1. Potassium Acetate is also known as acetic acid and potassium salt is a deliquescent white crystalline solid which is insoluble in organic solvents like ether, but soluble in both alcohol, ammonia, and water.

  2. Pure Potassium Acetate has a faint acetic smell or we can say it is odorless which has a saline taste and melts at 292°C.

  3. During Diabetic ketoacidosis the potassium level in the blood decreases. Also, the anion acetate present in the potassium acetate can be used as it increases the level of potassium salt to normal through the process of replacement in the neutralization of metabolites.

  4. It is used as a dehydrating and analytical agent in the manufacturing of crystal glasses and in medicines.

Physical properties of Potassium Acetate

  1. Potassium Acetate formula is CH₃COO₂K and has a molar mass of 98.142g/mol.

  2. Potassium Acetate density is 1.8 gram per cubic centimeters.

  3. Potassium Acetate melting point is 292°C.

  4. Potassium Acetate has a higher boiling point and decomposes at a higher temperature.

Preparation of Potassium Acetate

Potassium Acetate is prepared by a reaction known as an acid-base neutralization reaction.  While preparing potassium acetate, a potassium-containing base like potassium carbonate (K₂Co₃) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) is treated along with the acetic acid. In a neutralization reaction, a base is reacted with an acid to form salt and water. 

Potassium Acetate (Potassium ethanoate) is the salt that is formed along with water on the reaction of potassium hydroxide with acetic acid which is neutralized together.

The reaction of the generation of potassium acetate is:-


Potassium Acetate can also be formed when a small volume of water is added along with potassium carbonate in the acetic acid solution followed by the crystallization and evaporation.

The reaction formed is:-

K₂Co₃ + 2CH₃COOH ⟶ 2CH₃COOK + H₂O

In water, they sesquihydrate at around a temperature range of 41.3°C, and then they are eventually seen forming semi hydrates.

Fun Facts

  1. The first Organometallic compound produced is also known as Cadet's fuming liquid which is prepared initially with the help of  Potassium Acetate and the compound was used as a diuretic and urinary alkaliser. The function of the compound is to change the physical properties of the body fluids.

  2. In the production of polyurethanes, potassium acetate is used as a catalyst.

  3. Potassium Acetate is related to health effects as it can be an irritator for the mucous or the eyes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1.What is Potassium Acetate Uses?

Potassium Acetate uses are as follows:

  1. Potassium Acetate is used in agricultural and laboratory chemicals.

  2. It is used as a food preservative, food additive, and acidity regulator.

  3. It is used in molecular biology applications like fixation and mummification as well as in DNA purification and to precipitate dodecyl sulfate.

  4. It is used as a buffer and is also used instead of chloride salts to remove ice and stop its production.

  5. It is used in fire suppression and in the making of lubricants.

  6. The salt is used for ethanol precipitation of DNA.

2. Is Potassium Acetate Considered Base or Acid?

Potassium Acetate is a salt that is formed by an equal number of acetate ions and potassium ions. Potassium ion comes from a strong base named potassium hydroxide and acetate ion comes from the weak acid named as acetic acid. Potassium acetate is actually a conjugate base of acetic acid which is a weak acid. If the salt contains cations and anions that came from a strong base and acid, in that case, there is no effect on pH. Hence, there is no effect on pH by potassium ion but pH is affected by acetate ions.