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Rochelle Salt

Last updated date: 15th Apr 2024
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What is Rochelle Salt?

Rochelle salt is a natural salt. Its chemical name is sodium potassium tartrate tetrahydrate. Rochelle salt is also called a double salt of tartaric acid. The first production of the same was done in the year 1675.

The discoverer of the Rochelle salt was an apothecary named Pierre Seignette, born in the city of La Rochelle, France.

Also, sodium potassium tartrate and monopotassium were the first constituents to possess the piezoelectric property. The salt is also known as Seignette Salt, which was named so after him.

On this page, you will find all the properties of Rochelle salt crystals along with the various sodium potassium tartrate uses in detail.

Properties of Rochelle Salt

The Rochelle salt comes from a natural crystalline acid settled on the inside of the wine barrels at the cellars. 

Certainly, every chemical compound carries various properties with itself, which we will discuss one-by-one.

The Properties are as follows:

  1. Chemical properties

  2. Physical properties

  3. Ingredients/composition

  4. Strength

  5. Storage and stability

Rochelle Salt Crystal

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Rochelle Salt Structure

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Rochelle Salt Chemical Properties

1. Synonyms

  1. Seignette Salt

  2. Alkyl group - (2R, 3R) - 2,3 dihydroxybutane - 1,4 - dioïc acid

  3. Potassium Sodium Salt, tetrahydrate

  4. L (+) Tartaric Acid monosodium monoPotassium Tartrate

  5. Butanedioïc acid, 2, 3 - dihydroxy -, [R(R*,R*)] 

  6. Monopotassium monosodium salt, tetrahydrate

  7. Potassium sodium Tartrate

  8. Monopotassium, monosodium Tartrate, tetrahydrate

2. Chemical Formula

  1. Rochelle Salt Formula - C4H4O6KNa. 4H2O

  2. Expanded chemical formula: KOOCCH(OH)CH(OH)COONa. 4H2O

  3. Molecular mass - 282.23 g/mol

Rochelle Salt Physical Properties




Sodium potassium L(+) - tartrate tetrahydrate

Also known as



Colourless crystals

Whitish appearance 

Crystalline powder 

Granular crystal

Salty taste

Odourless monoclinic needles


Relative Density: 4D20

1.79 g/cm³

Melting Point

70 - to - 80 º C (75 °C)

167 °F

348 K

Boiling Point

220 °C 

428 °F 

493 K

Anhydrous temperature

130 ℃

Decomposition temperature

220 °C

Specific Rotation

D[α]20  + 21º (C = 2% in water)

The pH of a solution at 5% water, at 25º C

7 - 8

Solubility in water

26 g / 100 mL (0 ℃)

66 g / 100 mL (26 ℃)

Solubility in alcohol

The Rochelle salt is practically insoluble in alcohol

Crystallization or grouping system

Diamond-shaped crystals (blue-white Orthorhombic)

Rochelle Salt Ingredients/Composition

Strength: Lies between 99% and 102% of C4H4KNaO6.

Rochelle Salt Storage and Stability

We must keep the Rochelle Salt in an airtight packing and stock in a dry place, away from humidity and normal conditions of temperature.

The Rochelle slat is a stable compound that does not alter with time if the above advice is respected. Also, the use-by date is given according to the regulation, accordingly, it is two years.

This salt has a tendency to become caked, and therefore, long storage is not suggested especially for the powder grade.

Household Rochelle Salt Preparation

Ingredients Required:

We can prepare a Rochelle salt by using the following kitchen ingredients:

  • Cream of Tartar

  • Washing Soda 

  • Sodium Carbonate (which you can get by heating baking soda or sodium bicarbonate in a 275°F oven for an hour).

  • 1/2  kg (1 pound/lb) of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3

  • 200 grams (7 oz) of  tartar cream, i.e., potassium bitartrate, KHC4H4O6

  • 250 ml (1 cup) of distilled water

Steps to Prepare Rochelle Salt are as Follows:

Step 1: L Warmth a combination of around 80 grams cream of tartar in 100 milliliters of water to a bubble in a pot. 

Step 2: Gradually mix in sodium carbonate. The arrangement will rise after every expansion. Keep adding sodium carbonate until no more air pockets structure. 

Step  3: Chill this arrangement in the cooler. Translucent Rochelle salt will shape on the lower part of the container. 

Step 4: Eliminate the Rochelle salt. On the off chance that you redissolve it in a modest quantity of clean water, you can utilize this material to develop single gems. 

The way to develop Rochelle salt precious stones is to utilize the base measure of water expected to break up the strong. Use bubbling water to expand the dissolvability of the salt. You may wish to utilize a seed gem to invigorate development on a solitary gem instead of all through the compartment.

Commercial Rochelle Salt Preparation

The beginning material is tartar with a base tartaric corrosive substance of 68 %. This is first disintegrated in water or in the mother alcohol of a past cluster. It is then basified with hot saturated sodium hydroxide for pH 8, decolorized with actuated charcoal, and synthetically decontaminated prior to being separated. 

The filtrate is vanished to 42 °Bé at 100 °C and passed to granulators in which Seignette's salt takes shape on sluggish cooling. The salt is isolated from the mother alcohol by centrifugation, joined by the washing of the granules, and is dried in a rotational heater and sieved prior to bundling. Financially advertised grain sizes range from 2000 μm to < 250 μm (powder).

Bigger precious stones of Rochelle salt have been developed under states of decreased gravity and convection onboard Skylab. 

Rochelle salt gems will start to get dried out when the general moistness drops to around 30% and will start to disintegrate at relative humidities over 84%.

Sodium Potassium Tartrate Uses

  • Potassium sodium tartrate and monopotassium phosphate were the principal materials found to display piezoelectricity. 

  • Rochelle salt uses were crucial back in the mid-20th century, where Rochelle salt crystals were found in gramophone (phono) pick-ups, microphones, and earpieces during the post Worldwar II. Furthermore, Rochelle salt crystals became a boom in the consumer electronics domain.

  • Such transducers had an extraordinarily high yield with average get cartridge yields of as much as 2 volts or more. Rochelle salt is deliquescent so any transducers dependent on the material disintegrated whenever put away in soggy conditions. 

  • It has been utilized restoratively as a purgative. It has likewise been utilized during the time spent silvering mirrors. It is an element of Fehling's answer (reagent for lessening sugars). It is utilized in electroplating, in gadgets and piezoelectricity, and as a burning gas pedal in cigarette paper (like an oxidizer in fireworks). 

  • In a natural blend, it is utilized in fluid workups to separate emulsions, especially for responses in which an aluminum-based hydride reagent was utilized. Sodium Potassium tartrate is likewise significant in the food business. 

  • It is a typical precipitant in protein crystallography and is additionally a fixing in the Biuret reagent which is utilized to quantify protein focus. This fixing keeps up cupric particles in the arrangement at an antacid pH.

  • Furthermore, the substance is utilized as a food added substance to contribute a pungent, cooling taste. It is fixed in helpful magnetism reagents, like Fehling's answer and Biuret reagent.

Do You Know?

Sir David Brewster showed piezoelectricity by utilizing Rochelle salt in 1824. He named the impact pyroelectricity. 

Pyroelectricity is a property of certain gems portrayed by regular electrical polarization. All in all, a pyroelectric material can create a transitory voltage when warmed or cooled. 

Additionally, Brewster named the impact, it was first referred to by the Greek rationalist Theophrastus (c. 314 BC) regarding the capacity of tourmaline to draw in straw or sawdust when warmed.

FAQs on Rochelle Salt

1. Describe the Orthorhombic Structure.

Ans: In the field of crystallography, the orthorhombic crystal structure (gem framework) is one of the 7 gem frameworks. 

Orthorhombic grids come about because of extending a cubic cross-section along with two of its symmetrical sets by two unique variables, bringing about a rectangular crystal with a rectangular base (p by q) and height (r), to such an extent that p, q, and r have unique respective values. Every one of the three bases crosses at 90° points, so the three grid vectors remain commonly symmetrical.

2. Enlist the Use of Sodium Tartrate.

Ans: Sodium tartrate (Na2C4H4O6) is a salt utilized as an emulsifier and a limiting specialist in food items like jams, margarine, and hotdog housings. As a food added substance, it is known by the E number E335. Since its precious stone construction catches an exact measure of water, it is additionally a typical essential norm for Karl Fischer titration, a typical method to examine water content.

3. List the Uses of Sodium Potassium Tartrate.

Ans: The uses of sodium potassium tartrate are as follows:

  1. Used as a laxative

  2. In silvering of mirrors

  3. One of the ingredients in Fehling’s solution

  4. Used in the electroplating process

  5. Used in cigarette paper

  6. Used to break up emulsions

  7. One of the ingredients in Biuret reagent for measuring the concentration of protein.

  8. Helps to maintain alkaline pH

  9. Used as a customary precipitant in protein crystallography.

4. What is Unique About Orthorhombic Symmetry?

Ans: The Orthorhombic system (framework) is exceptional in having a 2-fold axis of rotational balance incidental with the r pivot of the gem without the presence of a 3-fold axis of rotational evenness (which would put it in the isometric framework).