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Potassium carbonate

Description Outline Reference quality standards Content Analysis Solubility of potassium carbonate in water Toxicity Limited use Chemical Properties Production method Uses References
Potassium carbonate
Potassium carbonate
Chemical Name:
Potassium carbonate
K2CO3;K-Gran;POTASH;PEARL ASH;Pearl dust;Sal absinthii;Kaliumcarbonat;SALT OF TARTAR;alt of wormwood;Montreal potash
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Potassium carbonate Properties

Melting point:
891 °C(lit.)
Boiling point:
decomposes [STR93]
2.43 g/mL at 25 °C
storage temp. 
Store at RT.
H2O: 1 M at 20 °C, clear, colorless
Specific Gravity
11.5-12.5 (50g/l, H2O, 20℃)
Water Solubility 
1120 g/L (20 ºC)
λ: 260 nm Amax: 0.03
λ: 280 nm Amax: 0.02
Stable. Incompatible with moisture, acids, magnesium bromine trifluoride and magnesium bromine trichloride.
CAS DataBase Reference
584-08-7(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Dipotassium carbonate(584-08-7)
EPA Substance Registry System
Carbonic acid, dipotassium salt(584-08-7)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
Hazard Codes  Xn
Risk Statements  22-36/37/38-20/21/22
Safety Statements  26-36-37/39
RIDADR  3262
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  TS7750000
PackingGroup  III
HS Code  28364000
Hazardous Substances Data 584-08-7(Hazardous Substances Data)
Toxicity LD50 orally in rats: 1.87 g/kg, H. F. Smyth et al., Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 30, 470 (1969)
Signal word: Warning
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H302 Harmful if swallowed Acute toxicity,oral Category 4 Warning P264, P270, P301+P312, P330, P501
H315 Causes skin irritation Skin corrosion/irritation Category 2 Warning P264, P280, P302+P352, P321,P332+P313, P362
H319 Causes serious eye irritation Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 2A Warning P264, P280, P305+P351+P338,P337+P313P
H335 May cause respiratory irritation Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure;Respiratory tract irritation Category 3 Warning
Precautionary statements:
P261 Avoid breathing 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.
P304+P340 IF INHALED: Remove victim to fresh air and Keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P337+P313 IF eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention.
P405 Store locked up.

Potassium carbonate price More Price(59)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 12611 Potassium carbonate meets analytical specification of Ph. Helv., puriss., anhydrous, granulated, 99-101% (calc. to the dried substance) 584-08-7 1kg $146 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 12611 Potassium carbonate meets analytical specification of Ph. Helv., puriss., anhydrous, granulated, 99-101% (calc. to the dried substance) 584-08-7 2.5kg $275 2018-11-13 Buy
Alfa Aesar 010838 Potassium carbonate, Puratronic?, 99.997% (metals basis) 584-08-7 5g $20.4 2018-11-16 Buy
Alfa Aesar 010838 Potassium carbonate, Puratronic?, 99.997% (metals basis) 584-08-7 25g $67.6 2018-11-16 Buy
Strem Chemicals 19-2600 Potassium carbonate (99.997%-K) PURATREM 584-08-7 10g $49 2018-11-13 Buy

Potassium carbonate Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Potassium carbonate (molecular formula: K2CO3), also known as potash or pearl ash, appears as a white powder or as colorless solid crystal with salty taste and deliquescence. It can be dissolved in water to form a strongly alkaline solution. However, it is insoluble in organic solvents such as ethanol. It has wide applications. For example, it can be used as a drying agent, buffering agent and a source of potassium in laboratory. It can also be used for the manufacturing of fire extinguishers, soap, glass, and soften water. In addition, it is also used during the production of cocoa powder to balance pH. Moreover, it can be supplied to effervescent tablets which can conveniently provide potassium when there are low levels of potassium in the blood for patients caused by various kinds of factors. In industry, potassium carbonate is manufactured though first performing electrolysis of potassium chloride to generate potassium hydroxide, followed by reaction with carbon dioxide to derive the product. It is toxic upon eye contact, inhalation and ingestion. For rats, it has an oral LD50 being 1870 mg/kg. It has chronic effects on humans, causing damage to the mucous membranes, skin, and eyes.


Potassium carbonate (chemical formula: K2CO3), also known as potash; its appearance is colorless crystal or white granules and is easily soluble in water with its solution being strongly alkaline. Cool its saturated solution with generating glassy monoclinic crystalline hydrate 2K2CO3 • 3H2O separated. It has a density of 2.043. It will lose its crystal water at 100 ℃. It is insoluble in ethanol, acetone and ether. It has a strong hygroscopic effect and can absorb carbon dioxide and water upon exposure to air to be converted into potassium bicarbonate. It can be generated through the reaction between potassium hydroxide with carbon dioxide to give. You can also obtain it through the heating reaction between potassium chloride and magnesium carbonate, water and carbon dioxide under pressure or obtain it through the impregnation of tung seed ash and plant ash. It is mainly used as the raw material for synthesis of decarbonization gas, electronic tubes, glass, enamel, printing, welding, film developing, inorganic salts and kinescope glass shell. The impure potassium carbonate base is usually called base, Tong base or pearl grey and is one kind of early species of potash.
The above information is edited by the Chemicalbook of Dai Xiongfeng.

Reference quality standards

Item Premium grade First grade Qualified II type
Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) content ≥ 99.0% 98.5% 96.0% 99.0%
Chloride (KCl) content ≤ 0.01% 0.10% 0.20% 0.03%
Sulfur compounds (in K2SO4) content ≤0.01% 0.10% 0.15% 0.04%
Iron (Fe) content of ≤ 0.001% 0.003% 0.010% 0.001%
Water-insoluble content ≤ 0.02% 0.05% 0.10% 0.04%
Burning loss ≤ 0.60% 1.00% 1.00% 0.80%

Content Analysis

To a pre-weighed weighing bottle with a plug, accurately weigh 1 g of dried sample measured according to the "loss on drying" assay and dissolve it in 50ml water. After adding of 2 drops of methyl red test solution (TS-149), stir continuously and titrate with 1mol/L hydrochloric acid titration until the solution turns into light pink. Heating the solution to boiling and further cool it down, continue to titrate to boiling until a pale pink color doesn’t disappears any more. Each Ml of 1mol/L hydrochloric acid is equivalent of 69.1 mg of potassium carbonate (K2CO3)

Solubility of potassium carbonate in water

The maximum solubility per 100 g of water at different temperatures (℃):
107g/0 ℃; 109g/10 ℃; 111g/20 ℃; 114g/30 ℃;
117g/40 ℃; 126g/60 ℃; 139g/80 ℃; 156g/100 ℃.


ADI does not make special provision (FAO/WHO, 2001).
LD50: 18.70mg/kg (rat, oral).
GRAS (FDA, §184.1619, 2000);

Limited use

GB 2760-2001: pasta, beverages, processing aids; take the GMP as limit.
FAO/WHO (1984): Low times concentrated milk, sweetened condensed milk, dilute cream (2g/kg when being used alone; apply 3g/kg when being used together with other stabilizers, calculated based on anhydrous matter); milk powder, cream powder 5g/kg ( calculated based on anhydride); jams and jellies, orange peel jelly (to maintain the Ph value being at 2.8 to 3.5); infant formula (according to GMP); chocolate 50g/kg (calculated based on the incorporated part from cocoa beans, cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, cocoa cakes, etc.); cocoa powder, sugar-containing cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor and cocoa cake 5 g/kg (calculated from non-fat cocoa and K2CO3 meter; can be used for the manufacture of cocoa and chocolate products).

Chemical Properties

It belongs to monoclinic, and is white powder or granular crystal. It is easily soluble in water but insoluble in alcohol and ether.

Production method

The ion exchange method: dubbed 250 g/L solution and adding a small amount of potassium carbonate to remove calcium and magnesium ions. Ammonium bicarbonate solution is also prepared at a concentration 200 g/L in water. Pass the potassium chloride solution through a countercurrent into ion exchange column, to make the sodium resin R-Na become potassium type RK, wash off the chlorine ion within the gap of the soft resin; after finishing washing, put through the ammonium bicarbonate solution downstream into the resin exchange column, making the resin become ammonium type R-NH4 and obtain a mixed dilute solution of potassium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate; go through evaporation once to decompose the ammonium bicarbonate; evaporate once again to decompose most of the potassium bicarbonate into potassium carbonate; the precipitated potassium chloride crystal after cooling was filtered and removed; further go through evaporation for three times to 54°C and filter to remove the compound salt of potassium and sodium. The solution was subject to carbonation to convert the potassium carbonate into potassium bicarbonate; further go through crystallization, separation, washing, calcination to obtain the finished product. Its reaction steps are as below:
R-Na + KCl → R-K + NaCl
R-K + NH4HCO3 → R-NH4 + KHCO3
2KHCO3 → K2CO3 + CO2 ↑+ H2O
Apply electrolysis to dissolve the potassium chloride to a concentration of 270~300 g/L with adding appropriate amount of potassium carbonate to remove the calcium and magnesium ions inside it. After the clarification of the solution, adjust to pH 8~10 with hydrochloric acid; perform electrolysis at the cell voltage of 2.8~3.5 V and the bath temperature of 60~70 ℃ to obtain the potassium hydroxide solution with a concentration of 10% to 15%; further go through evaporation and concentration to a 50% potassium hydroxide and cool down to 30~35 ℃; Recycle the precipitated potassium chloride for reuse. Dilute the concentrated alkali solution to about 44%, and perform pre-carbonization; when the concentration of potassium hydroxide reaches 30 g/L or less, filter to remove the precipitate of magnesium hydroxide and then go through concentration for removing sodium; then conduct the carbonization to obtain the crude potassium carbonate with further carbonation obtaining the potassium bicarbonate crystals; The crystals undergoes washing with water, centrifuge, calcination to obtain the refined product of potassium carbonate. Its reaction steps are as below:
2KCl + 2H2O [electrolysis] → 2KOH + Cl2 ↑ + H2 ↑
2KOH + CO2 → K2CO3 + H2O
K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2KHCO3
2KHCO3 → K2CO3 + CO2 ↑ + H2O
The plant ash method mainly take advantage of various kinds of plant shell such as Kiriko shell, cotton seed hulls, tea and sunflower seed hulls for firing into plant ash. The plant ash is a mixture of potassium carbonate, potassium sulfate, and potassium chloride. They are separated by multiple steps including leaching, evaporation and crystallization. There are many ways for purification such as adding magnesium to remove phosphorus or put through carbon dioxide for pre-carbonization to remove the impurity or adding lime to remove phosphorus, aluminum and silicon. It needs evaporation for twice, cooling, separation, and further drying to obtain the finished product of potassium carbonate. Owing to the limitation in the sources of raw material, this method is not suitable for mass production and it has been eliminated.
Leblanc method: Mix the potassium, coal, limestone in a certain ratio, add water and stir, wherein the potassium chloride is maintained at 6% to 8%, the sodium salt is maintained in 8% to 10% and then subject to calcination at 900~1000 ℃ to obtain the black ash. The black ash is pulverized and subject to hot water extraction. The immersion is further subject to evaporation to precipitate some part of unconverted potassium sulfate out; it was further sent to the carbonation tower for pre-carbonation after separation. Add the potassium permanganate into the carbonation solution to remove the impurities precipitate of aluminum, silicon, and iron; the filtrate was evaporated to the precipitation of potassium carbonate, sodium compound salt and impurities; the clarifying solution further undergoes secondary carbonation to obtain the crude potassium carbonate crystals; it further goes through filtering, water washing, and further calcination at 500~600 ℃ to obtain the finished potassium carbonate product. Its reaction processes are:
K2SO4 + 2C + CaCO3 → K2CO3 + CaS + 2CO2 ↑
K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2KHCO3
2KHCO3 → K2CO3 + CO2 ↑+ H2O
Recrystallization method: dissolve the technical grade potassium carbonate in distilled water for solution purification; remove the impurities through filtration; the filtrate is further subject to concentration by evaporation, cooling crystallization, centrifugation, and drying to obtain the finished product of anhydrous potassium carbonate.


It can be applied to the washing and processing for the pre-exposed photosensitive material.
It is mainly applied to the manufacturing of the kinescope glass of the electronics industry, the decarbonization of fertilizer production, and the manufacturing of potassium salt.
It can be used as analysis reagents, fluxing agent as well as the preparation of various kinds of potassium salts.
It can be used as reagents for analysis, baseline standard reagents and the fluxing agent of molten silicates and insoluble sulfates.
It can be used as a leavening agent in food; it can also be used for glass, printing and dyeing, soap, enamel, preparation of potassium salt, decarbonylation of synthetic ammonia as well as being applied to color TV industry.
It can be used as an alkaline agent and dough conditioner, and can also inhibit the souring of noodles. It can be applied to pasta food. Apply it in appropriate amount according to production requirement.
It can be used for the production of optical glass and can increase the transparency, strength and refractive co-efficiency of the glass. It can also be used in the production of welding electrodes and can prevent the phenomenon of breaking arc during welding. It can be used for the production of vat dyes and dyeing and the white discharge of ice dyeing. It can be used as the absorbent for removing hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. When being mixed with soda ash, it can be used as a dry powder extinguishing agent.
It can also be used as the auxiliary material of acetone, and alcohol production and the antioxidant in the production of rubber. Its aqueous solution can be used for the scouring of cotton and the degreasing of wool. In addition, it can also be applied to the production of inks, pharmaceutical for photography, polyester, electroplating, leather, ceramic, building materials, crystal, potassium soap and medicine. Heavy potassium carbonate is mainly used as the raw material of production of kinescope glass shell and is widely used as the raw material of glass and special glass materials as well as being used for the decarbonization of chemical fertilizer.


Chemical Properties

white powder or granules


It is used as drying agent for organic solvents; a base.


Potassium Carbonate is a general purpose food additive and alkali. it is hygroscopic and the aqueous solutions are strongly alkaline. it has a solubility of 1 g in 1 ml of water at 25°c. it is used as a flavoring agent and processing aid, and to control ph. it is used in soups to neutralize acidity.


ChEBI: A potassium salt that is the dipotassium salt of carbonic acid.

General Description

An aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide. Corrosive to metals and tissue. Density 12.8 lb /gal. Used to make soaps, other potassium compounds, in liquid fertilizers.

Air & Water Reactions

Water soluble. Addition of water evolves heat.

Reactivity Profile

Potassium carbonate neutralizes acids exothermically to form salts plus water. Reacts with certain metals (such as aluminum and zinc) to form oxides or hydroxides of the metal and generate gaseous hydrogen. May initiate polymerization reactions in polymerizable organic compounds, especially epoxides. May generate flammable and/or toxic gases with ammonium salts, nitrides, halogenated organics, various metals, peroxides, and hydroperoxides. May serve as a catalyst. Reacts when heated above about 84°C with aqueous solutions of reducing sugars other than sucrose, to evolve toxic levels of carbon monoxide [Bretherick, 5th Ed., 1995].


Solutions irritating to tissue.

Health Hazard

TOXIC; inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with material may cause severe injury or death. Contact with molten substance may cause severe burns to skin and eyes. Avoid any skin contact. Effects of contact or inhalation may be delayed. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may be corrosive and/or toxic and cause pollution.

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.

Agricultural Uses

Potassium carbonate (K2C03) in solution form can be used as a liquid fertilizer. A limited quantity of the solid is used as a non-chloride form of potassium for tobacco.
Potassium carbonate is obtained from ash. It is made by electrolysis of potassium chloride. Potassium hydroxide on reaction with carbon dioxide gives potassium carbonate. Liquid carbonate contains about 50% potassium carbonate in water. The solid product, which contains over 70% potassium carbonate is fairly expensive and is of use in only limited types of acid soil. Neutralizing caustic potash with carbon dioxide gas also produces potassium carbonate.

Agricultural Uses

The term potash designates potassium oxide (K2O). Potassium oxide is never used as such in fertilizers. The term potash is loosely applied to potassium salts, but it generally refers to potassium carbonate (K2C03), or potassium chloride (KCl). Potash in fertilizers is usually present in the form of a muriate or sulphate, and occasionally in the form of a carbonate or nitrate.
The ores of naturally occurring potassium salts are called potash ores. Low-grade potash materials are kainite, basalt, sylvinite, carnalite and schoenite. The potassium content of fertilizers is expressed as percent potash (K2O)

Safety Profile

Poison by ingestion. A strong caustic. Incompatible with KCO, chlorine trifluoride, magnesium. Mutation data reported. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of K2O.

Purification Methods

It crystallises from water between 100o and 0o. The solubility in H2O is 105% at 0o, 127% at 60o and 205% at 135o (b of saturated solution). After two recrystallisations of technical grade material, it had B, Li and Fe at 1.0, 0.04 and 0.01 ppm, respectvely. [D.nges in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry (Ed. Brauer) Academic Press Vol I p 987 1963.]

Potassium carbonate Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Potassium carbonate Suppliers

Global( 354)Suppliers
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View Lastest Price from Potassium carbonate manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2018-11-05 potassium carbonate CAS:584-08-7
US $1.00 / KG 1KG 99% 20tons hebei chisure biotechnology co.,ltd
2018-11-05 potassium carbonate CAS:584-08-7
US $1.00 / KG 1KG 99% 20tons hebei chisure biotechnology co.,ltd
2018-08-04 Potassium carbonate
US $1330.00 / KG 1000KG 99% 10T career henan chemical co

Potassium carbonate Spectrum

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