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Minerals and Energy Resources - Potassium Carbonate

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Minerals and Energy Resources

A mineral is a “homogeneous, naturally occurring material with a clearly defined internal structure". Minerals come in a variety of shapes and sizes in nature, from the toughest diamond to the softest talc. Minerals combine to form rocks, which are made up of homogeneous substances. Metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources are the two main types of mineral resources. Gold, zinc, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, chromium, nickel, and aluminium are examples of metallic resources. Sand, Uranium, Gypsum, Gravel, Halite, and dimension stone are examples of nonmetallic tools.

A source of energy is something that can generate power life, heat, move things, or generate electricity. A fuel is a substance that stores energy. The amount of energy consumed by humans has been gradually increasing. Hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, energy from deep within the earth, nuclear fusion and biomass through plants are only a few examples. Electricity or thermal (heat) energy are typically generated from such types of energy sources.

Potassium Carbonate

Potassium carbonate is an inorganic compound is a crystalline white salt that dissolves in water. It is a deliquescent solid that sometimes appears damp or muddy. Soap and glass are two of the most popular and important uses for potassium carbonate.

What is the Formula of Potassium Carbonate?

Formula of Potassium Carbonate

K2CO3 is the Formula of potassium carbonate. 

Physical Properties of Potassium Carbonate

It has a deliquescent look and is white and hygroscopic. It also has a thickness of 2.43 g mL-1. Its melting point is 891 degrees Celsius. It can also be a water solvent. Methanol, gasoline, and toluene do not dissolve it.

Chemical Properties of Potassium Carbonate

These have structures that are solid soluble base arrangements in water. In addition, the carbonate anion seems to be the second anion species formed by the deprotonation of carbonic corrosive H2CO3.


The major ingredient of potash and the more concentrated pearl ash or tartar salts is potassium carbonate. Traditionally, pearl ash was made by removing impurities from potash through baking this in a kiln. The pearl ash has been the fine, white powder that remained. Samuel Hopkins received the first patent from the US Patent Office in 1790 for an advanced process of creating potash and pearl ash. Pearl ash has been brought in use as a leavening agent for fast breads in late 18th-century North America, before baking powder was developed.


Industrially, potassium carbonate is made by reacting potassium hydroxide with carbon dioxide as follows:


The sesquihydrate K2CO3. 3/2H2O K2CO3 32H2O crystallises from the solution ("potash hydrate"). The anhydrous salt is formed by heating such solid over 200°C. Potassium chloride is processed with carbon dioxide throughout the existence of an organic amine to produce potassium bicarbonate, which can then be calculated through an alternative approach.


Arrangement of Potassium Carbonate

There are different philosophies for the Arrangement of Potassium Carbonate, some of which are:

  • The Engel-Precht process, which employs magnesium oxide, potassium chloride, and carbon dioxide, can be employed. Just after disintegration of the salt, this process frames the Engel salt MgCO3. KHCO3. 4H2O, which can form unadulterated to it.

  • By electrolysis of potassium chloride.

  • Using an excessive amount of carbon dioxide to treat potassium hydroxide.

Potassium Carbonate Uses

Below mentioned are some of the Potassium carbonate uses:-

  • Used in the manufacture of soap, glass, and china.

  • When other drying agents, such as calcium chloride and magnesium sulphate, are incompatible, this could be used as a moderate drying agent. It is not ideal towards acidic compounds, however if a tiny quantity of acidic impurity is present, it can be used to dry an organic process. Previous to distillation, it could also be used to dry certain alcohols, ketones, and amines.

  • It has a long history of use in cooking. It's used to make grass jelly, which is common in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines, and also Chinese moon cake and hand-pulled noodles. Tripe is even tenderised with it. Potassium carbonate is often used as a baking agent in German gingerbread recipes, but only in conjunction with hartshorn. To avoid damage, potassium carbonate ph should only be used in small amounts and should never be used without medical supervision.

  • It's also preferred for alkalizing cocoa powder to make Dutch process chocolate through regulating the pH of natural cocoa beans; in turn it also improves aroma. Since Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented the method of introducing potassium carbonate to cocoa powder in the year 1828, it is commonly referred to as "Dutching" (and also the goods as Dutch-processed cocoa powder).

  • Even though it is a byproduct of potassium nitrate, it is recorded to have been used as a buffering agent mostly in manufacturing of mead or wine, to smooth hard water, also as fire repellent in removing deep-fat fryers and several other B class-related fires, and also in compressed aerosol fire suppression in antique papers.

  • Used as an animal feed component to meet the potassium needs of farmed animals like broiler breeders, as a component of welding fluxes as well as the flux covering on arc-welding rods,  and also as an acidity control in Swedish snus.

FAQs on Minerals and Energy Resources - Potassium Carbonate

Q1. Is Potassium Carbonate the Same thing as Baking Soda?

Ans. Potassium bicarbonate is commonly regarded as among the most effective baking soda substitutes. This is due to the fact that potassium bicarbonate does have the similar leavening properties as baking soda, but it lacks the sodium that baking soda carries.

Q2. How is Potash obtained?

Ans. Potash ores are usually high in sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium chloride (KCl), and other salts, minerals and clays, and are mined using traditional shaft mining techniques, with the ore ground into some kind of powder. Other techniques involve brine evaporation and dissolution mining.