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Potassium Chloride - KCl

Potassium Chloride

Potassium chloride has a crystalline appearance, colourless, and an odourless odour. KCl is an ionic salt with a halogen link and an alkali metal. Potassium chloride is easily dissolved in water, and the resultant KCl solution is said to have a salty flavour. It has the chemical formula KCl and is composed in a 1:1 ratio of chloride anions and potassium cations.
This ionic salt's principal application is in agriculture, where it is employed in the manufacturing of soil fertilisers. Potash, a water-soluble crystalline substance used in agriculture, may be made from potassium chloride. This chemical is also used in food as a replacement for table salt. Humans with low blood potassium can benefit from taking suitable amounts of KCl orally.

Potassium Chloride in Medicine

Potassium is required for various key activities in the human body. The most noteworthy of which is heartbeat. Potassium levels in the body that are dangerously low might thus be lethal. Hypokalemia is a condition in which the potassium levels in the blood decrease. This syndrome can arise as a result of the usage of certain medications or as a result of certain disorders. For example, a person may develop hypokalemia after or during a lengthy sickness that includes vomiting or diarrhoea.

Potassium chloride is a high potassium source. It is thus used to treat hypokalemia. It can also be used to avoid hypokalemia. Potassium chloride is often provided as a tablet or a pill. It can also be taken orally in the form of a beverage. It is vital to remember that potassium chloride should not be given to people who have hyperkalemia (raised potassium levels in blood).

Properties of KCl
In the solid state, KCl is soluble in a wide range of polar solvents, including water. In these polar solvents, the salt is iodized into the Cl– anions and the K+ cation. This section discusses some of potassium chloride's various chemical and physical features.

Physical Properties

  • It has a density of 1.984 grams per cubic centimetre in crystalline form.
  • Potassium chloride crystals are built up of face-centered cubic unit cells.
  • KCl has a molar mass of 74.5513 grams/mol.
  • Potassium chloride has melting and boiling temperatures of 1040 K and 1690 K, respectively.
  • The solubility of KCl in water at 0 degree celsius, 20 degree celsius, and 100 degree celsius is 217.1 g/L, 253.9 g/L, and 360.5 g/L, respectively.
  • Potassium chloride dissolves readily in alcohols but not in ether.

Chemical Properties

  • Despite sodium's lesser electropositivity, metallic sodium may be used to reduce potassium chloride into metallic.
  • This is accomplished by heating the KCl with metallic sodium to 8500F.
  • Because potassium chloride is entirely ionised in water into K+ and Cl– ions, the resultant aqueous solution has a high electrical conductivity.
  • This reaction's chemical equation is:
    KCl + Na ⇌ NaCl + K

Applications

Potassium chloride has several industrial and medicinal uses. It is also an essential component in fertiliser synthesis. The following are some of the most important applications for KCl.

  • Potassium chloride is used in the production of potash. It is a type of fertiliser that enriches soils with potassium, promoting plant growth. The main impediment to plant development is generally a lack of potassium. Potassium chloride, as a potassium source, can improve potassium availability in the soil.
  • Potassium chloride is an essential raw material used in the production of potassium metal.
  • KCl is also used in the production of soap. Potassium chloride can be used as an alternative to sodium chloride in water softening units.
  • The bulk of potash fertilisers sold globally are manufactured from KCl.
  • Potassium chloride is often used as a medicine in the treatment of hypotension.
  • The use of potassium chloride as a beta radiation source is highly helpful in calibrating radiation monitoring equipment.
  • KCl is used as a salt alternative in foods where a low sodium concentration is required to lower the risk of hypertension.
  • The flux used in oxy-fuel welding of aluminium is potassium chloride, as well as the chloride salts of lithium and sodium.

Potassium Chloride Use as Fire Extinguisher

Potassium chloride, which has the potential to be employed as a fire extinguishing chemical, was first used in portable and wheeled fire extinguishers. It was known as the Super-K dry chemical. It was thought to be more effective for this purpose than sodium bicarbonate-based dry chemicals. In addition, potassium chloride has been shown to be compatible with protein foam. However, with the development of potassium bicarbonate (commonly known as Purple-K) dry chemical towards the end of the 1960s, the usage of potassium chloride for this purpose rapidly decreased. Purple-K was discovered to be significantly less corrosive than potassium chloride in this application.

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