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Potassium chloride




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Potassium chloride

Potassium chloride is a chemical compound. Its chemical formula is KCl. It contains potassium and chloride ions.

Properties

It is a colorless crystalline solid. It is not reactive. It is similar to sodium chloride. It reacts with silver nitrate to make silver chloride. It reacts with sodium metal when very hot to make potassium metal. The metals are a gas because it is so hot. It makes a pink color when heated in a flame.

Occurrence

Sylvite

Potassium chloride is found as a mineral. The mineral is called sylvite. It is also found in sylvanite, a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride.

Preparation

It is taken from the ocean. It can also be processed from the mineral sylvite or sylvanite. It is made when potassium nitrate is reacted with hydrochloric acid, making nitric acid and potassium chloride. It is made when potassium burns in chlorine.

Uses

It is used to make potassium metal. Potassium chloride is heated very hot until it melts. Sodium metal is reacted with it. The sodium metal melts and boils to make sodium gas. The sodium gas reacts with the potassium chloride to make potassium gas and sodium chloride. It can be electrolyzed in a water solution to make potassium hydroxide. It is used in food processing. It can be used to execute people in a lethal injection. It is used instead of table salt sometimes. Normally it is half table salt and half potassium chloride. It can be used to extinguish fires. It was used to make packs that get hot when squeezed, but better chemicals are used now.

Safety

Potassium chloride is toxic in very large amounts. When injected into a vein it is much more toxic.