Potassium bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate (also known as potassium hydrogen carbonate or potassium acid carbonate) is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula KHCO3. It is a white solid.[1]

Potassium bicarbonate purple-K
A fire extinguisher containing potassium bicarbonate
Potassium bicarbonate
Potassium bicarbonate
Hydrogenuhličitan draselný
IUPAC name
potassium hydrogen carbonate
Other names
potassium acid carbonate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.005.509
EC Number
  • 206-059-0
E number E501(ii) (acidity regulators, ...)
Molar mass 100.115 g/mol
Appearance white crystals
Odor odorless
Density 2.17 g/cm3
Melting point 292 °C (558 °F; 565 K) (decomposes)
22.4 g/100 mL (20 °C)[1]
Solubility practically insoluble in alcohol
Acidity (pKa) 10.329[2]

6.351 (carbonic acid)[2]

-963.2 kJ/mol
A12BA04 (WHO)
Safety data sheet MSDS
R-phrases (outdated) R36 R37 R38
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g. turpentineReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point Non-Flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
> 2000 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Other anions
Potassium carbonate
Other cations
Sodium bicarbonate
Ammonium bicarbonate
Related compounds
Potassium bisulfate
Potassium hydrogen phosphate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Production and reactivity

It is manufactured by treating an aqueous solution of potassium carbonate with carbon dioxide:[1]

K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 KHCO3

Decomposition of the bicarbonate occurs between 100 and 120 °C (212 and 248 °F):

2 KHCO3 → K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O

This reaction is employed to prepare high purity potassium carbonate.


This compound is a source of carbon dioxide for leavening in baking, and for extinguishing fire in dry chemical fire extinguishers.

Acidity regulator

As an inexpensive, nontoxic base, it is widely used in diverse application to regulate pH or as a reagent. Examples include as buffering agent in medications, an additive in winemaking.

Potassium bicarbonate is often found added to club soda to improve taste,[3] and to soften the effect of effervescence.

Fire extinguishers

Potassium bicarbonate is used as a fire suppression agent ("BC dry chemical") in some dry chemical fire extinguishers, as the principal component of the Purple-K dry chemical, and in some applications of condensed aerosol fire suppression. It is the only dry chemical fire suppression agent recognized by the U.S. National Fire Protection Association for firefighting at airport crash rescue sites. It is about twice as effective in fire suppression as sodium bicarbonate.[4]


Potassium bicarbonate has widespread use in crops, especially for neutralizing acidic soil.[5]

Potassium bicarbonate is an effective fungicide against powdery mildew and apple scab, allowed for use in organic farming.[6][7][8][9]


The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning "aerated salt", was widely used in the nineteenth century for both potassium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate. The term has now fallen out of common usage.


  1. ^ a b c H. Schultz, G. Bauer, E. Schachl, F. Hagedorn, P. Schmittinger (2005). "Potassium Compounds". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a22_039.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Robert N.; Kishore, Nand; Lennen, Rebecca M. (2003). "Thermodynamic quantities for the ionization reactions of buffers in water". In David R. Lide (ed.). CRC handbook of chemistry and physics (84th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 7–13. ISBN 978-0-8493-0595-5. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Why Your Bottled Water Contains Four Different Ingredients". Time Magazine.
  4. ^ "Purple-K-Powder". US Naval Research Laboratory. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Potassium Bicarbonate Handbook" (PDF). Armand Products Company.
  6. ^ "Use of Baking Soda as a Fungicide".
  7. ^ "Powdery Mildew - Sustainable Gardening Australia". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  8. ^ "Organic Fruit Production in Michigan".
  9. ^ "Efficacy of Armicarb (potassium bicarbonate) against scab and sooty blotch on apples" (PDF).

External links

Ammonium bicarbonate

Ammonium bicarbonate is an inorganic compound with formula (NH4)HCO3, simplified to NH5CO3. The compound has many names, reflecting its long history. Chemically speaking, it is the bicarbonate salt of the ammonium ion. It is a colourless solid that degrades readily to carbon dioxide, water and ammonia.

Apple scab

Apple scab is a disease of Malus trees, such as apple trees, caused by the ascomycete fungus Venturia inaequalis. The disease manifests as dull black or grey-brown lesions on the surface of tree leaves, buds or fruits. Lesions may also appear less frequently on the woody tissues of the tree. Fruits and the undersides of leaves are especially susceptible. The disease rarely kills its host, but can significantly reduce fruit yields and fruit quality. Affected fruits are less marketable due to the presence of the black fungal lesions.


W. K. Buckley Limited is a corporation operating in Canada that manufactures medicines for health problems such as the common cold. They also have children's medicine which are sold under the brand Jack & Jill. The company is located in Mississauga, Ontario. It is a subsidiary of Novartis.

The company was founded in 1919 by William Knapp Buckley (1890 - 1978), In 1978, after W. K. Buckley's death, his adopted son Frank Buckley became the president of the company. In the mid-1980s, Frank became spokesperson promoting the "It Tastes Awful. And It Works." slogan, which became very successful.

Novartis, the Swiss-based conglomerate with 2005 sales of $32 billion, purchased ownership of the Buckley's brand and formulas in 2002, effectively denying a third generation run at leading Buckley's by Frank's son Donald.The remaining Buckley company, William Knapp Limited, which provides Marketing consultancy services, is effectively led by David Rieger, The Vice President of Marketing reporting directly to Frank Buckley. Prior to this position, Mr. Rieger held a number of other senior positions with the Buckley organization and with the Novartis conglomerate.

Carbonated water

Carbonated water (also known as soda water, sparkling water or, especially in the U.S., seltzer or seltzer water) is water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas, either artificially injected under pressure or occurring due to natural geological processes. Carbonation causes small bubbles to form, giving the water an effervescent quality. Common forms include sparkling natural mineral water, club soda, and commercially produced sparkling water.Club soda, sparkling mineral water, seltzer and many other sparkling waters contain added or dissolved minerals such as potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, or potassium sulfate. These occur naturally in some mineral waters but are also commonly added artificially to manufactured waters to mimic a natural flavor profile. Various carbonated waters are sold in bottles and cans, with some also produced on demand by commercial carbonation systems in bars and restaurants, or made at home using a carbon dioxide cartridge.It is thought the first person to aerate water with carbon dioxide was William Brownrigg in 1740, although he never published a paper. Carbonated water was independently accidentally invented by Joseph Priestley in 1767 when he discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide after suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a brewery in Leeds, England. He wrote of the "peculiar satisfaction" he found in drinking it, and in 1772 he published a paper entitled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. Priestley’s apparatus, which featured a bladder between the generator and the absorption tank to regulate the flow of carbon dioxide, was soon joined by a wide range of others. However, it wasn’t until 1781 that carbonated water began being produced on a large scale with the establishment of companies specialized in producing artificial mineral water. The first factory was built by Thomas Henry of Manchester, England. Henry replaced the bladder in Priestley’s system with large bellows.While Priestley is regarded as "the father of the soft drink", he did not benefit financially from his invention. He did however receive scientific recognition when the Council of the Royal Society "were moved to reward its discoverer with the Copley Medal" in 1772.

Club soda

Club soda is a manufactured form of unflavored carbonated water, commonly used as a drink mixer. Potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate or sodium citrate are artificially added to replicate constituents commonly found in natural mineral waters.

English chemist Joseph Priestley discovered an artificial method for producing soda water, described in a pamphlet called "Directions for Impregnating Water with Fixed Air", published in 1772. The pamphlet explained the process of dripping sulfuric acid onto chalk, which produced carbon dioxide CO2 which was captured in a bowl of agitated water. Priestley thought such carbonated water was a cure for scurvy and proposed the process to Captain James Cook to prevent scurvy during his second voyage to the South Seas. Priestley never realized the commercial potential of his product, though he did refer to it as his "happiest discovery." In 1783 Jacob Schweppe, a jeweller and amateur scientist of Geneva, began the commercial production of carbonated mineral water by dissolving the CO2 under pressure. In 1807, Benjamin Silliman, a Yale chemistry professor, began producing carbonated water under pressure and selling it in New Haven, Connecticut. In the 1830s Anyos Jedlik of Hungary opened a large-scale carbonated water factory. The original trademarked club soda was made by Cantrell & Cochrane of Dublin, Ireland in 1877. The 'club' refers to the Kildare Street Club in Dublin who commissioned them to produce it.Seltzer water is a similar manufactured carbonated water, but lacks added mineral content.

Cryptosporidium parvum

Cryptosporidium parvum is one of several species that cause cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic disease of the mammalian intestinal tract.Primary symptoms of C. parvum infection are acute, watery, and nonbloody diarrhea. C. parvum infection is of particular concern in immunocompromised patients, where diarrhea can reach 10–15 l per day. Other symptoms may include anorexia, nausea/vomiting, and abdominal pain. Extra-intestinal sites include the lung, liver, and gall bladder, where it causes respiratory cryptosporidosis, hepatitis, and cholecystitis, respectively.Infection is caused by ingestion of sporulated oocysts transmitted by the faecal-oral route. In healthy human hosts, the median infective dose is 132 oocysts. The general C. parvum lifecycle is shared by other members of the genus. Invasion of the apical tip of ileal enterocytes by sporozoites and merozoites causes pathology seen in the disease.Infection is generally self-limiting in immunocompetent people. In immunocompromised patients, such as those with AIDS or those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, infection may not be self-limiting, leading to dehydration and, in severe cases, death.


Ethoxzolamide (alternatively known as ethoxyzolamide) is a sulfonamide medication that functions as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. It is used in the treatment of glaucoma and duodenal ulcers, and as a diuretic. It may also be used in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.

Grass tetany

Grass tetany is a metabolic disease involving magnesium deficiency, which can occur in such ruminant livestock as beef cattle, dairy cattle and sheep, usually after grazing on pastures of rapidly growing grass, especially in early spring.


Maltesers are a British confectionery product manufactured by Mars, Incorporated. First sold in the UK in 1937, they were originally aimed at women. They have since been sold in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and, since 2017, the US. The slogan is "The lighter way to enjoy chocolate".Maltesers consist of a spheroid malted milk centre surrounded by milk chocolate. Maltesers are sold in a variety of packaging, including plastic bags (ranging in size from small 'fun-size' upwards), larger cardboard boxes and tubes, and plastic buckets (ranging in size from medium to very large). They also have medium-sized "teasers" in Celebrations boxes. Maltesers are also one of the types of chocolate included in Mars's Revels assortment.

Maltesers brand director Rebecca Shepheard-Walwyn called Maltesers “one of the UK’s biggest heritage brands.” A YouGov poll saw them ranked the most famous confectionary in the UK.

Monocalcium phosphate

Monocalcium phosphate is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca(H2PO4)2 ("AMCP" or "CMP-A" for anhydrous monocalcium phosphate). It is commonly found as the monohydrate ("MCP" or "MCP-M"), Ca(H2PO4)2·H2O. Both salts are colourless solids. They are used mainly as superphosphate fertilizers and are also popular leavening agents.

Muzzle flash

Muzzle flash is the visible light of a muzzle blast, which expels high-temperature, high-pressure gases from the muzzle of a firearm. The blast and flash are caused by the combustion products of the gunpowder, and any remaining unburned powder, mixing with the ambient air. The size and shape of the muzzle flash is dependent on the type of ammunition being used and the individual characteristics of firearm and any devices attached to the muzzle (such as a muzzle brake or flash suppressor).

Potassium carbonate

Potassium carbonate is the inorganic compound with the formula K2CO3. It is a white salt, which is soluble in water. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is mainly used in the production of soap and glass.

Potassium citrate

Potassium citrate (also known as tripotassium citrate) is a potassium salt of citric acid with the molecular formula K3C6H5O7. It is a white, hygroscopic crystalline powder. It is odorless with a saline taste. It contains 38.28% potassium by mass. In the monohydrate form it is highly hygroscopic and deliquescent.

As a food additive, potassium citrate is used to regulate acidity and is known as E number E332. Medicinally, it may be used to control kidney stones derived from either uric acid or cystine.

Powdery mildew

Not to be confused with Penicillium inection

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. Powdery mildew diseases are caused by many different species of fungi in the order Erysiphales, with Podosphaera xanthii (a.k.a. Sphaerotheca fuliginea) being the most commonly reported cause. Erysiphe cichoracearum was formerly reported to be the primary causal organism throughout most of the world. Powdery mildew is one of the easier plant diseases to identify, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and denser as large numbers of asexual spores are formed, and the mildew may spread up and down the length of the plant.

Powdery mildew grows well in environments with low humidity and moderate temperatures. Greenhouses provide an ideal moist, temperate environment for the spread of the disease. This causes harm to agricultural and horticultural practices where powdery mildew may thrive in a greenhouse setting. In an agricultural or horticultural setting, the pathogen can be controlled using chemical methods, bio organic methods, and genetic resistance. It is important to be aware of powdery mildew and its management as the resulting disease can significantly reduce important crop yields.


Purple-K, also known as PKP, is a dry-chemical fire suppression agent used in some dry chemical fire extinguishers. It is the second most effective dry chemical in fighting class B (flammable liquid) fires after Monnex (potassium allophanate), and can be used against some energized electrical equipment fires (USA class C fires). It has about 4–5 times more effectiveness against class B fires than carbon dioxide, and more than twice that of sodium bicarbonate. Some fire extinguishers are capable of operation in temperatures down to −54 °C or up to +49 °C. Dry chemical works by directly inhibiting the chemical chain reaction which forms one of the four sides of the fire tetrahedron (heat + oxygen + fuel + chemical chain reaction = fire). To a much smaller degree it also has a smothering effect by excluding oxygen from the fire. "Dry chemical" extinguishers, such as Purple-K, are different from "dry powder" extinguishers that are used to fight Class D flammable metal fires.

Quick bread

Quick bread is any bread leavened with leavening agents other than yeast or eggs. An advantage of quick breads is their ability to be prepared quickly and reliably, without requiring the time-consuming skilled labor and the climate control needed for traditional yeast breads.

Quick breads include many cakes, brownies and cookies—as well as banana bread, beer bread, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread.


SAPS II is a severity of disease classification system. Its name stands for "Simplified Acute Physiology Score", and is one of several ICU scoring systems.

Sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate (IUPAC name: sodium hydrogen carbonate), commonly known as baking soda, is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. It is a salt composed of a sodium cation (Na+) and a bicarbonate anion (HCO3−). Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline, but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). The natural mineral form is nahcolite. It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs.

Wine chemistry

Wine is a complex mixture of chemical compounds in a hydro-alcoholic solution with a pH around 4.

Potassium compounds


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