potassium chloride

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potassium chloride,

chemical compound, KCl, a colorless or white, cubic, crystalline compound that closely resembles common salt (sodium chloride). It is soluble in water, alcohol, and alkalies. Potassium chloride occurs pure in nature as the mineral sylvite and is found combined in many minerals and in brines and ocean water. It is recovered (with other compounds) from the brine of Searles Lake in California. It is produced from sylvinite, a sodium chloride–potassium chloride mineral that is mined extensively near Carlsbad, N.Mex., and it is refined by fractional crystallization and by a flotation process. It is also recovered from lake brines in Utah and from ores in Saskatchewan, Canada. The chief use of potassium chloride is in the production of fertilizersfertilizer,
organic or inorganic material containing one or more of the nutrients—mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and other essential elements required for plant growth.
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; it is also used in chemical manufacture. For agricultural use it is often called muriate of potash; the concentration of potassium chloride in muriate of potash is expressed as a corresponding concentration of potassium oxide (K2O), i.e., the concentration of potassium oxide that there would be if the potassium were present as its oxide instead of as its chloride. Thus, muriate of potash that contains (typically) 80% or 97% KCl by weight is said to contain 50% or 60% K2O, respectively. Manure salts contain some potassium chloride.

Potassium Chloride


KC1, a salt; colorless crystals. Density, 1.989 g/cm3; melting point, 768°C. Solubility, 34.7 g per 100 g H2O at 20°C (56.6 g at 100°C).

Potassium chloride occurs in nature as sylvite. Natural sylvinite (a mixture of sylvite, KC1, and halite, NaCl) and the mineral carnallite, KCl⋅MgCl2⋅6H2O, serve as the raw material in the the preparation of potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is used as a potassium fertilizer and as a raw material for the preparation of other potassium salts and potassium hydroxide. In medicine, potassium chloride solutions are used internally or intravenously for conditions accompanied by potassium deficiency (for example, during treatment with certain preparations or after persistent vomiting) and for cases of cardiac arrhythmia. [ll–639–4]

potassium chloride

[pə′tas·ē·əm ′klȯr‚īd]
(inorganic chemistry)
KCl Colorless crystals with saline taste; soluble in water, insoluble in alcohol; melts at 776°C; used as a fertilizer and in photography and pharmaceutical preparations. Also known as potassium muriate.
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