Name: potassium chloride
Other names: sylvite, muriate of potash
CAS number: 7447-40-7
Molecular formula: KCl
Molar mass: 74.5513 g•mol−1
Density: 1.984 g/cm3
Melting point: 770 °C
Boiling point: 1420 °C
Solubility in water: 281 g/L (0°C), 344 g/L (20°C), 567 g/L (100°C)
Solubility: soluble in glycerol, alkalies, slightly soluble in alcohol, insoluble in ether;
LD50: 2.6 g/kg (oral/rat), 0.142 g/kg (intravenous/rat)
Arsenic: 0.00005% max
Heavy metal(measured by Pb): ≤0.0005% max
Loss on drying: 11% max
Sodium chloride: 1.45% max
Insoluble matter in water: 0.05% max
Impurity: 0.5% max
Ammonium (measured by NH4+): 0.01% max
Potassium chloride is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. In its pure state, it is odorless and has a white or colorless vitreous crystal appearance, with a crystal structure that cleaves easily in three directions. Potassium chloride is used in medicine, scientific applications, and food processing.
In chemistry and physics, potassium chloride is a very commonly used standard, for example, as a calibration standard solution in measuring electrical conductivity of (ionic) solutions, since carefully prepared KCl solutions have well-reproducible and well-repeatable measurable properties. Potassium chloride can react as a source of chloride ion. As with any other soluble ionic chloride, it will precipitate insoluble chloride salts when added to a solution of an appropriate metal ion.
Potassium chloride is used for making fertilizer, since the growth of many plants is limited by their potassium intake. As a chemical feedstock, it is used for the manufacture of potassium hydroxide and potassium metal. It is also used in medicine, lethal injections, scientific applications, food processing, and as a sodium-free substitute for table salt (sodium chloride).
Potassium chloride is sometimes used in water as a completion fluid in petroleum and natural gas operations, as well as being an alternative to sodium chloride in household water softener units. It is useful as a beta radiation source for calibration of radiation monitoring equipment. It is also used in various brands of bottled water, as well as in bulk quantities for fossil fuel drilling purposes. Potassium chloride was once used as a fire extinguishing agent, used in portable and wheeled fire extinguishers. Besides, it is also used as a flux for the gas welding of aluminium.
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