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  • Potassium carbonate is a white salt, soluble in water (insoluble in alcohol) which forms a strongly alkaline solution. It can be made as the product of potassium hydroxide's absorbent reaction with carbon dioxide. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is used in the production of soap and glass.
  • Potassium carbonate was first identified in 1742 by Antonio Campanella and is the primary component of potash and the more refined pearlash or salts of tartar. Historically pearlash was created by baking potash in a kiln to remove impurities. The fine white powder remaining was the pearlash. The first patent issued by the U.S. Patent Office was awarded to Samuel Hopkins in 1790 for an improved method of making pearlash.
  • In late 18th century North America, before the development of baking powder, pearlash began to be used as a leavening agent in "quick breads".Other terms for potassium carbonate include: Carbonate of potash,Dipotassium carbonate, Dipotassium salt, Pearl ash, Potash,Salt of tartar, Salt of wormwood.
  • Today potassium carbonate is prepared commercially by the electrolysis of potassium chloride. The resulting potassium hydroxide is then carbonated using carbon dioxide to form potassium carbonate, which is often used to produce other potassium compounds. CO2 + 2KOH --> K2CO3 + H2O. Pearlash has been used for soap, glass, and china production.In the laboratory, it may be used as a mild drying agent where other drying agents such as calcium chloride may be incompatible. However, it is not suitable for acidic compounds.
  • Bicarbonate ion has been identified as the probable cause of growth inhibition in some bacteria and fungi. The bicarbonate causes the collapse of hyphal walls and shrinkage of conidia (different parts of the fungus). In addition, pH elevation may also play a significant role. Potassium bicarbonate is also sometimes mixed with sodium bicarbonate and inert ingredients in formulations.
  • Potassium can be found in vegetables, fruit, potatoes, meat, bread, milk and nuts. It plays an important role in the physical fluid system of humans and it assists nerve functions. Potassium, as the ion K+, concnetrate inside cells, and 95% of the body's potassium is so located. When our kidneys are somehow malfunctioning an accumulation of potassium will consist.
  • The discovery of baking soda began with potash, a crude potassium carbonate extracted from wood ashes. American colonists learned how to purify potash into the pearlash (a more concentrated potassium carbonate) that became an important ingredient to their booming soap-and glass-making businesses. By the mid-eighteenth century, production of potash and pearlash had grown from a cottage industry to a major commercial enterprise. The colonies, with trees to burn, began exporting huge amounts of these carbonates to England's glass and soap factories.

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