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Potassium bicarbonate

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Title: Potassium bicarbonate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Potassium chloride, Ammonium bicarbonate, Potassium citrate, Sodium bicarbonate, Purple-K
Collection: Acid Salts, Bicarbonates, Fire Suppression Agents, Potassium Compounds
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Potassium bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate
Potassium bicarbonate
IUPAC name
potassium hydrogen carbonate
Other names
potassium acid carbonate
ATC code A12
ChemSpider  Y
EC number 206-059-0
Jmol-3D images Image
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)
33.7 g/100 mL (20 °C)
60 g/100 mL (60 °C)
Solubility practically insoluble in alcohol
Acidity (pKa) 10.329[1]

6.351 (carbonic acid)[1]

-963.2 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet MSDS
R-phrases R36 R37 R38
NFPA 704
Flash point Non-Flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
LD50 (Median dose)
> 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).
 N  (: Y/N?)

Potassium bicarbonate (also known as potassium hydrogen carbonate or potassium acid carbonate) is a colorless, odorless, slightly basic, salty substance. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potassium bicarbonate is "generally recognized as safe".[2] There is no evidence of human carcinogenicity, no adverse effects of overexposure, and an undetermined LD50. It is among the food additives encoded by European Union, identified by the initials E 501. Physically, potassium bicarbonate occurs as a crystal or a soft white granular powder. Potassium bicarbonate is very rarely found in its natural form, the mineral called kalicinite.

A fire extinguisher containing potassium bicarbonate.


  • Chemistry 1
  • Uses 2
  • History 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Decomposition of the bicarbonate occurs between 100 °C and 120 °C:

2 KHCO3 → K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O

It is manufactured by reversing the above: reaction of potassium carbonate with carbon dioxide and water.

K2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 KHCO3


The compound is used as a source of carbon dioxide for leavening in baking, extinguishing fire in dry chemical fire extinguishers, acting as a reagent, and a strong buffering agent in medications.

It is used as an additive in winemaking and as a base in foods and to regulate pH. It is a common ingredient in club soda, where it is used to soften the effect of effervescence.

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.[3]

Potassium bicarbonate is an effective

  • Potassium Bicarbonate Handbook
  • OMRI Potassium Bicarbonate

External links

  1. ^ 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. CRC handbook of chemistry and physics (84th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 7–13.  
  2. ^ GRAS Notification Program (October 31, 2006). "Potassium bicarbonate". GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database. US FDA. Archived from the original on March 5, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Purple-K-Powder". US Naval Research Laboratory. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Powdery Mildew - Sustainable Gardening Australia
  6. ^ Organic Fruit Production in Michigan
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^


The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning "aerated salt", was widely used in the 19th century for both potassium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate. The term has now fallen out of common usage.


Some Africans use it as a native salt in cooking.

Potassium bicarbonate has widespread use in crops, especially for neutralizing acidic soil

Potassium bicarbonate is often found added to bottled water to affect taste.[8]

[7][6] [5][4]

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