Potassium carbonate

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White deliquescent powder. Potassium carbonate is used in the manufacture of Glass, ceramics, Smalt, and Soap. It is also used in printing inks, process engraving, and lithography and in tanning and finishing Leather. In a closed environment, a saturated solution of potassium carbonate will form an equilibrium at a Relative humidity of about 44% (20C).

Synonyms and Related Terms

salts of tartar; oil of tartar; pearl ash; potash; salt of wormwood; carbonate of potass; american ashes; Kaliumcarbonat (Deut.); Pottasche (Deut.); carbonato de potasio (Esp.); wêglan potasu (Pol.)


  • Noncombustible.
  • Skin contact causes irritation.
  • Ingestion may be harmful.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Composition K2CO3
CAS 584-08-7
Melting Point 891 C
Density 2.428 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 138.21
Refractive Index 1.426, 1.531, 1.541

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 630
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 7781
  • Photographic chemicals: www.jetcity.com/~mrjones/chemdesc.htm
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.426, 1.531, 1.541