Potassium ions are vital for animal and plant life. Fruits contain a high amount of potassium ions. Here are some of the more common uses of potassium in the world today!
Uses of Potassium
- Almost all of the potassium in the world is used in fertilizers. As potassium ions are a vital part of plant nutrition, crops and trees must be grown in soil with high concentrations of potassium ions. Potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and potassium nitrate are used in agriculture, horticulture and hydroponics.
- Potassium chloride is used to stop the heart. This is used for heart surgery (where the heart is stopped and re-started) and lethal injections.
- Rochelle salt, which contains potassium, is the main component in baking powder. It is also used to coat glass with silver.
- Potassium bromate is added to flour to make it stronger and rise the dough better.
- Another compound of potassium, potassium bisulfate, is used to preserve foods (except meats), wine and beer. It can also be used to bleach textiles and straw and can tan leather.
- Submarines and spacecraft often contain the superoxide KO2. This supplies oxygen to the inhabitants of the submarine or spacecraft!
- Potassium hydroxide is a strong base. It is used in industries and science laboratories to neutralize acids and make potassium salts. It is also added to fats and oils to make soap.
- Potassium chlorate is used to kill weeds. It is also used in safety matches.
- Toughened glass (stronger than ordinary glass) is made using potassium nitrate.
- Two compounds of potassium are used as inks and dyes.
- Potassium cyanide is used in gold mining.