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Potassium hydroxide

Description Chemical Properties Uses Applications Production Methods Reactions
Potassium hydroxide
Potassium hydroxide
Chemical Name:
Potassium hydroxide
KOH;LYE;KHO;POTASH;Potassa;Potassio;POTASH LYE;KOH/CH63857;Causicpotash;potassium lye
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Potassium hydroxide Properties

Melting point:
361 °C(lit.)
Boiling point:
1.450 g/mL at 20 °C
vapor pressure 
1 mm Hg ( 719 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.421
Flash point:
52 °F
storage temp. 
H2O: 1 M at 20 °C, clear, colorless
14 (56g/l, H2O, 20℃)
explosive limit
3.5-15.0%(V) (ethanol)
Water Solubility 
Air Sensitive & Hygroscopic
Stable, but very hygroscopic. Dissolves exothermically in water. Incompatible with most metals, strong acids, acid chlorides, organic materials, zinc, aluminium, nitroalkanes, nitrobenzene, chlorine dioxide. Reacts vigorously with a wide variety of other materials. Readily absorbs water and carbon dioxide from the air.
CAS DataBase Reference
1310-58-3(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Potassium hydroxide(1310-58-3)
EPA Substance Registry System
Potassium hydroxide (K(OH))(1310-58-3)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
Hazard Codes  C,F,T,Xi
Risk Statements  34-35-22-11-39/23/24/25-23/24/25-36/38-36/37-67-52/53
Safety Statements  7-16-36/37-45-36/37/39-26-61
RIDADR  UN 2924 3/PG 2
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  TT2100000
Autoignition Temperature 425 °C (ethanol)
HazardClass  8
PackingGroup  II
HS Code  28259090
Hazardous Substances Data 1310-58-3(Hazardous Substances Data)
Toxicity LD50 orally in rats: 1.23 g/kg (Smyth)
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H225 Highly Flammable liquid and vapour Flammable liquids Category 2 Danger P210,P233, P240, P241, P242, P243,P280, P303+ P361+P353, P370+P378,P403+P235, P501
H290 May be corrosive to metals Corrosive to Metals Category 1 Warning P234, P390, P404
H302 Harmful if swallowed Acute toxicity,oral Category 4 Warning P264, P270, P301+P312, P330, P501
H303 May be harmfulif swallowed Acute toxicity,oral Category 5 P312
H311 Toxic in contact with skin Acute toxicity,dermal Category 3 Danger P280, P302+P352, P312, P322, P361,P363, P405, P501
H314 Causes severe skin burns and eye damage Skin corrosion/irritation Category 1A, B, C Danger P260,P264, P280, P301+P330+ P331,P303+P361+P353, P363, P304+P340,P310, P321, P305+ P351+P338, P405,P501
H315 Causes skin irritation Skin corrosion/irritation Category 2 Warning P264, P280, P302+P352, P321,P332+P313, P362
H318 Causes serious eye damage Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 1 Danger P280, P305+P351+P338, P310
H319 Causes serious eye irritation Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 2A Warning P264, P280, P305+P351+P338,P337+P313P
H331 Toxic if inhaled Acute toxicity,inhalation Category 3 Danger P261, P271, P304+P340, P311, P321,P403+P233, P405, P501
H370 Causes damage to organs Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure Category 1 Danger P260, P264, P270, P307+P311, P321,P405, P501
Precautionary statements:
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. — No smoking.
P260 Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P264 Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
P264 Wash skin thouroughly after handling.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P321 Specific treatment (see … on this label).
P301+P330+P331 IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.
P303+P361+P353 IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off Immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse SKIN with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P332+P313 IF SKIN irritation occurs: Get medical advice/attention.
P337+P313 IF eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention.
P405 Store locked up.

Potassium hydroxide price More Price(125)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 06005 Potassium hydroxide puriss., meets analytical specification of Ph. Eur., BP, NF, 85-100.5%, pellets 1310-58-3 1kg $75.9 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 06005 Potassium hydroxide puriss., meets analytical specification of Ph. Eur., BP, NF, 85-100.5%, pellets 1310-58-3 6x1kg $236 2018-11-13 Buy
Alfa Aesar 010979 Potassium hydroxide, 30% w/v aq. soln. 1310-58-3 1L $51.9 2018-11-16 Buy
Alfa Aesar 010979 Potassium hydroxide, 30% w/v aq. soln. 1310-58-3 500ml $32.5 2018-11-16 Buy
Cayman Chemical 400029 Potassium Hydroxide 85% (15% H2O) 1310-58-3 1ea $8 2018-11-15 Buy

Potassium hydroxide Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Potassium hydroxide(KOH) is highly basic, forming strongly alkaline solutions in water and other polar solvents. These solutions are capable of deprotonating many acids, even weak ones.
Potassium hydroxide is used to make soft soap, in scrubbing and cleaning operations, as a mordant for woods, in dyes and colorants, and for absorbing carbon dioxide. Other principle uses of caustic potash are in the preparation of several potassium salts, acid-base titrations, and in orgainic sytheses.
Also, KOH is an electrolyte in certain alkaline storage batteries and fuel cells. Potassium hydroxide is used in neutralization reactions to yield potassium salts. Aqueous potassium hydroxide is employed as the electrolyte in alkaline batteries based on nickel-cadmium and manganese dioxide-zinc. Alcoholic KOH solutions are also used as an effective method for cleaning glassware. KOH works well in the manufacture of biodiesel by catalyzing transesterification of the triglycerides in vegetable oil.

Chemical Properties

Pure potassium hydroxide is a solid at room temperature, though it is often sold as a liquid. Potassium hydroxide is a strong alkaline substance that dissociates completely in water into the potassium ion (K+) and hydroxide ion (OH-). The dissolution in water generates heat, so a vigorous reaction can occur when potassium hydroxide is added to water. The vapor pressure of the substance is very low and the melting point is high. Potassium hydroxide solutions attack aluminium and its alloys under formation of hydrogen gas. It can be neutralised with acids (e.g. hydrochloric acid) giving the corresponding potassium salts of the acids, which are usually pH neutral and non-corrosive.


Potassium hydroxide has many different functions and uses.
  1. It is primarily used as an intermediate in industrial manufacturing processes, such as the manufacture of fertilisers, potassium carbonate or other potassium salts and organic chemicals.
  2. It is also used in the manufacture of detergents and in alkaline batteries.
  3. Small-scale uses include drain cleaning products, paint removers and degreasing agents.
  4. manufacture of liquid soap;
  5. mordant for wood;
  6. absorbing CO2;
  7. mercerizing cotton;
  8. paint and varnish removers;
  9. electroplating, photoengraving and lithography;
  10. printing inks;
  11. in analytical chemistry and in organic syntheses.
  12. Pharmaceutic aid (alkalizer).


Industry Application Role/benefit
Chemical manufacturer Manufacturer of other potassium compounds Precursor/source of potassium
Electrochemistry Manufacture of batteries and fuel cells Electrolyte/ good conductors of electricity
Wet processing of semiconductors Etchant/corrosivity and alkalinity
Biomass fuels Manufacturing biodiesel from oils and fats Catalyst/KOH works well in the manufacture of biodiesel by transesterification of the triglycerides in vegetable oil
Food Rinse or chemical peel for fruits and vegetables Additive in rinse solution/corrosivity and alkalinity
Chocolate,cocoa,soft drink,ice cream,etc. Stabilizer,thickener and pH regulator
Cleaning Manufacture of "potassium soaps" Saponification agent/has better softness and greater solubility than sodium soaps
Industrial cleaners for oven,drain,driveway,concrete,pipe,etc. Additive/alkalinity and good solubility for grease
Liquid soaps, lotions, shampoos, hairsprays, and denture cleaners Additive/helps to increase softness and solubility
Medicine Disbudding calves horns and dissolving scales and hair in veterinary medicine Dissolving solution/good solubility for keratin
Dissolving warts and cuticles in humans
Diagnose fungal infections Diagnose agent
Production of potassium boron hydrogen, spironolactone, progesterone and testosterone propionate, etc. Raw material
Agriculture Potassium fertilizers (potassium phosphate) Raw material/source of potassium
Paper Separation of lignin from cellulose fibers Additive/alkalinity
Dyeing Manufacture of tripolycyanamide dye Raw material
Textile Dyeing, bleaching and mercerizing textiles Additive/corrosivity and alkalinity
Manufacture of artificial fiber and polyester fiber Main raw material
Chemical analysis Titration of acids Titration agent/alkalinity
Others Bleaching textiles Bleaching agent
Absorption of CO2, SO3 and NO3 in gas streams Absorption agent/alkalinity
Absorption of H2O Absorption agent/ hygroscopicity of anhydrous potassium hydroxide

Production Methods

Potassium hydroxide is produced commerically by electrolysis of a saturated solution of potassium chloride in brine using mercury cells consisting of a titanium anode and mercury cathode. Potassium reacts with mercury forming the amalgam which, on treatment with water, forms potassium hydroxide and hydrogen.
Other types of electrolytic cells, although not so commonly used today, are also known. In a diaphragm type cell that separates the cell into anode and cathode compartments, an aqueous solution of potassium chloride is electrolyzed. Potassium hydroxide and hydrogen are produced at the cathode and chlorine is liberated at the anode. The solution discharged from the cell is evaporated to concentrate potassium hydroxide and precipitate potassium chloride.
Potassium hydroxide also may be made by reacting potassium superoxide with water:
2KO2 + 2H2O → 2KOH + H2O2 + O2


Potassium hydroxide is a very strong base, more basic than caustic soda. It is neutralized by acids. The solution on evaporation yields the corresponding potassium salt:
KOH + HCl → K+ + Cl¯+ H2O
Action of bromine or iodine on a warm concentrated solution of KOH forms bromate and bromide or iodate and iodide, respectively:
3Br2 + 6OH¯→ BrO3¯ + 5Br¯ + 3H2O
3I2 + 6OH¯ → IO3¯ + 5I¯ + 3H2O
When carbon dioxide is passed through its aqueous solution and the solution evaporated, potassium bicarbonate is formed:
Reaction with carbon monoxide at 100 to 200°C at a CO pressure above 7 atm yields potassium formate:
Reaction with phenol in dilute methanol solution forms potassium phenoxide:
KOH + C6H5OH → C6H5OK + H2O
Reaction with boric acid and hydrofluoric acid forms potassium tetrafluoroborate, KBF4:
KOH + H3BO3 + 4HF → KBF4 + 4H2O
An alcoholic solution of potassium hydroxide reacts with an alcoholic solution of carbon disulfide to form potassium ethylxanthogenate, C2H5OCS2K
KOH + C2H5OH + CS2 → C2H5OCS2K + H2O
Reaction with sodium borohydride forms potassium borohydride:
Reaction with hydrofluoric acid forms potassium bifluoride:
KOH + 2HF → KHF2 + H2O
Half neutralization of a phthalic anhydride solution forms potassium hydrogen phthalate.

Chemical Properties

Potassium hydroxide is a white deliquescent solid.

Chemical Properties

White, deliquescent pieces, lumps, sticks, pellets, or flakes having a crystalline fracture. Keep well stoppered, absorbs water and carbon dioxide from the air. Soluble in water, alcohol, glycerol; slightly soluble in ether.


potassium hydroxide is used as an emulsifier in lotions and as an alkali in liquid soaps, protective creams, and shaving preparations. Depending on the concentration used, it can be highly irritating to the skin and/or cause a burning sensation.


Pharmaceutic aid (alkalizing agent).


Potassium Hydroxide is a water-soluble food additive and bleaching agent. upon exposure to air it readily absorbs carbon dioxide and moisture and deliquesces. it is used to destroy the bitter chemical constituents in olives that will be used as black olives.

General Description

A white solid. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Used in soap manufacture, bleach, as an electrolyte in alkaline batteries, and as a food additive.

Air & Water Reactions

Hydrolysis generates enough heat to ignite adjacent combustible material [Haz. Chem. Data 1966]. Dissolves in water (with liberation of heat, may steam and spatter. Solution is basic (alkaline). Deliquescent

Reactivity Profile

POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE absorbs moisture readily forming caustic solution that attacks aluminum and zinc. A piece of potassium hydroxide causes liquid chlorine dioxide to explode [Mellor 2:289. 1946-47]. 1,2-dichloroethylene and potassium hydroxide forms chloroacetylene, which is explosive and spontaneously flammable in air. Potassium hydroxide is highly toxic [Rutledge 1968. p. 134]. A reaction between n-nitrosomethylurea and potassium hydroxide in n-butyl ether resulted in an explosion due to the formation of diazomethane [Schwab 1972]. Potassium persulfate and a little potassium hydroxide and water ignited a polythene (polyethylene) liner of a container by release of heat and oxygen [MCA Case History 1155. 1955]. Using potassium hydroxide to dry impure tetrahydrofuran, which contains peroxides, may be hazardous. Explosions have occurred in the past. Sodium hydroxide behaves in a similar way as potassium hydroxide [NSC Newsletter Chem. Soc. 1967]. A strong base. Forms caustic solution in water. [Merck 11th ed. 1989].


Toxic by ingestion and inhalation, strong caustic, handle with gloves or tongs, corrosive to tissue. Eye, skin and upper respiratory tract irritant.

Health Hazard

Causes severe burns of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
Potassium hydroxide is a strongly alkaline, hydrophilic substance and therefore solid potassium hydroxide is highly corrosive. It reacts with fat and can cause irreversible damage to any site of contact with the body (for example skin or eyes). Solutions of potassium hydroxide in water at concentrations above 0.5% (w/w) are irritating at points of contact and, at higher concentrations, the solutions can be corrosive. Potassium hydroxide does not cause skin allergies. Because of the corrosive properties of potassium hydroxide, its ingestion can be fatal. Under normal conditions of handling and use, potassium hydroxide in solution will dissociate into its constituent ions and, if ingested, will not be systemically available in the body as such.

Fire Hazard

Non-combustible, substance itself does not burn but may decompose upon heating to produce corrosive and/or toxic fumes. Some are oxidizers and may ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.). Contact with metals may evolve flammable hydrogen gas. Containers may explode when heated.

Safety Profile

Poison by ingestion. An eye irritant and severe human skin irritant. Very corrosive to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Mutation data reported. Ingestion may cause violent pain in throat and epigastrium, hematemesis, collapse. Stricture of esophagus may result if substance is not immedately fatal. Above 84' it reacts with reducing sugars to form poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Violent, exothermic reaction with water. Potentially explosive reaction with bromoform + crown ethers, chlorine dioxide, nitrobenzene, nitromethane, nitrogen trichloride, peroxidized tetrahydrofuran, 2,4,6- trinitrotoluene. Reaction with ammonium hexachloroplatinate(2-) + heat forms a heat- sensitive explosive product. Violent reaction or ignition under the appropriate condtions with acids, alcohols, p-bis(l,3- dbromoethyl)benzene, cyclopentadene, germanium, hyponitrous acid, maleic anhydride, nitroalkanes, 2-nitrophenol, potassium peroxodisulfate, sugars, 2,2,3,3- tetrafluoropropanol, thorium dicarbide. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of K2O. See also SODIUM HYDROXIDE.

Potential Exposure

KOH is generally used as an alkali and in the manufacture of other potassium compounds.

First aid

Move victim to fresh air. Call 911 or emergency medical service. Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Do not use mouth-to-mouth method if victim ingested or inhaled the substance; give artificial respira- tion with the aid of a pocket mask equipped with a one- way valve or other proper respiratory medical device. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. For minor skin contact, avoid spreading material on unaffected skin. Keep victim warm and quiet. Effects of exposure (inhalation, ingestion or skin contact) to substance may be delayed. Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves. Medical observation is recommended for 24?48 hours after breathing overexposure, as pulmonary edema may be delayed. As first aid for pulmonary edema, a doctor or authorized paramedic may consider administering a drug or other inhalation therapy.


splash goggles and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times when handling these substances to prevent eye and skin contact. Operations with metal hydroxide solutions that have the potential to create aerosols should be conducted in a fume hood to prevent exposure by inhalation. NaOH and KOH generate considerable heat when dissolved in water; when mixing with water, always add caustics slowly to the water and stir continuously. Never add water in limited quantities to solid hydroxides. Containers of hydroxides should be stored in a cool, dry location, separated from acids and incompatible substances.


UN1814 (solution) & UN1813 (solid); Potassium hydroxide, solid or solution, Hazard class: 8; Labels: 8-Corrosive material.

Purification Methods

Its carbonate content can be reduced by rinsing KOH sticks rapidly with water prior to dissolving them in boiled out distilled water. Alternatively, a slight excess of saturated BaCl2 or Ba(OH)2 can be added to the solution which, after shaking well, is set aside so that the BaCO3 is allowed to separate out. Davies and Nancollas [Nature 165 237 1950] rendered KOH solutions carbonate free by ion exchange using a column of Amberlite IR-100 in the OH-form.


A strong base. Violent reaction with acids, alcohols, water, metals (when wet), halogenated hydrocarbons; maleic anhydride. Heat is generated if KOH comes in contact with water and carbon dioxide from the air. Corrosive to zinc, aluminum, tin and lead in the presence of moisture releasing combustible/explosive hydrogen gas. Can absorb water from air and give off sufficient heat to ignite surrounding combustible materials.

Flammability and Explosibility

Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are not flammable as solids or aqueous solutions.

Waste Disposal

Dilute with large volume of water, neutralize and flush to sewer

Potassium hydroxide Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Potassium hydroxide Suppliers

Global( 385)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Jiangsu Kolod Food Ingredients Co.,Ltd.
+86-518-85110578 18805133257
+86-518-85110578 CHINA 100 60
Hebei Guanlang Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
+86-0311-66562153 whatsapp +8615203118427
+86-0311-66562153 CHINA 417 50
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+86-021-57951555 CHINA 1374 55
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86-0551-65418684 18949823763
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Hebei Huanhao Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
86-0311-83975816 CHINA 599 58
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021-51821727 China 15835 55
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021-50323701 China 25127 65
Spectrum Chemical Manufacturing Corp. 021-67601398,18616765336,QQ:3003443156
021-57711696 China 9821 60

View Lastest Price from Potassium hydroxide manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2018-09-17 Potassium hydroxide; KHO
US $5.00 / KG 1KG 99% 20MT Hebei Huanhao Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
2018-12-25 Potassium hydroxide
US $1.00 / kg 1g 99% 100KG career henan chemical co
2017-08-31 Technical Grade Food Grade Potassium Hydroxide
US $10.00 / KG 25KG 48% liquid; 90% flake; 95% flake 2000tons Jiangsu Kolod Food Ingredients Co.,Ltd.

Potassium hydroxide Spectrum

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