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Potassium Carbonate (Potash)

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  • Potassium carbonate, K2CO3, or potash(1), is highly soluble in water, forming an alkaline solution. The name potash gave the chemical element potassium its English and French name. K2CO3 was called potash since it was extracted from wood ash being leached out by water in a pot.

    It is made by passing CO2 into a 50% potassium hydroxide solution:

    \[2 KOH + CO_2 \rightarrow K_2CO_3 + H_2O\]

    Potassium carbonate is used in the production of soap and glass and as a mild drying agent, especially for organic solvents.

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