Potassium metabisulfite

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White granules or powder with a pungent odor. Potassium metabisulfite is used as a Bleaching agent for Straw, Wood, textiles, and Paper. It is also used in photographic developing solutions.

Synonyms and Related Terms

potassium pyrosulfite; dipotassium disulfite

Chemical structure

Potassium metabisulfite.jpg


  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in water. Insoluble in ethanol.
  • Oxidized in air to form potassium sulfate.
Composition K2S2O5
CAS 16731-55-8
Melting Point 150-190 C (dec)
Density 2.3 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 222.3

Resources and Citations

  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 7811

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