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The density of potassium carbonate is 2.43 grams per milliliter (g/ml) at room temperature. It has a melting point of 891degC (1,636degF).
Potassium carbonate is the dipotassium salt of carbonic acid and is widely used as a catalyst, fertilizer and flame retardant. It can also be used to produce specialty glasses and ceramics.
K2CO3 can be produced by electrolysis of potassium chloride or by reacting potassium hydroxide with carbon dioxide gas. It is considered a safe product for use in industry and household products, but it can cause respiratory irritation and skin contact burns at high concentrations.
In agriculture, it is used as a fertilizer to provide potassium to plants. It has a high water soluble content that can damage seedlings, inhibit the uptake of other minerals and reduce crop quality.
Several different kinds of K2CO3 are available, with varying degrees of solubility in water. It has a specific volume of 1120 grams per liter at 20 degrees Celsius, and is able to dissociate into potassium and carbonate ions.
Effervescent tablets include potassium carbonate to increase the level of potassium in patients with low blood levels. It is also a common ingredient in Dutch process chocolate.
In facilities where the potassium carbonate is packaged in bulk bags, there may be a need for a bag-breaking system that is equipped with a dust hood and dust collector to prevent airborne particles from escaping into the atmosphere as they are discharged from the hopper. Some bag-breaking stations feature spring-loaded frames that elongate and stretch the bags as they empty and lighten, removing any collections of potassium carbonate cornered inside the bag.