What is Sodium/Potassium Metal And What Are Their Uses?


Summary: The chemicals industry has been a burgeoning one in India and abroad for many years now. From the demand for speciality chemicals to polymer and allied chemicals the demand has only grown. What then is sodium or potassium metal and what are their industrial uses?



Sodium and Potassium both float on the surface of cold water and react violently with water. Potassium Metal is a soft alkali metal. . Even though potassium is being gradually replaced by sodium in most chemical reactions, it has its uses too. It is necessary for the growth of plants and constitutes an important element in human diet as well. This silvery metal is the least dense metal known to man and is found in abundance. It is the seventh most abundant metal found on the surface of the earth. One of its early uses, even before its characteristics were well known, was the use of potassium carbonate.

It was mixed with animal fat to produce soap. The chemicals obtained from potassium which includes potassium chloride, potassium sulphate, potassium hydroxide and potassium carbonate, all have various uses. From potassium hydroxide’s use in neutralizing weak and strong acids, controlling Ph, finding use in industrial cleansers to manufacturing potassium salt, the list is exhaustive. Potassium nitrate is both an important fertilizer as well as the oxidant used in gunpowder. The metal halide salt that is potassium chloride has its own uses in the food processing industry, is used in scientific experiments, and also finds use as a sodium free alternative to common table salt. Potassium sulphate on the other hand is used for a wide range of crops which includes everything from tobacco to vegetables. Its efficiency in these aspects is based on its being a chloride free alternative which can harm these crops. Potassium Carbonate the white water soluble substance finds use as a buffering agent while producing mead or wine, used in the production of glass wares, soap and china production.

Sodium metal has begun to replace potassium in most chemical reactions. Feldspar, rock salt and sodalite all contain sodium. Sodium hydroxide or lye, a compound of sodium, is used for making soap. Pulping of wood for paper making or giving shape to regenerated fibers besides its use in tissue digestion and as an industrial cleaning agent are among some of the other uses of Sodium hydroxide. From use in de-icing as road salt, as water softening agent, the principal fire extinguishing agent in fire extinguishers, to its well known use as a nutrient in the form of common salt sodium chloride is a compound which has many uses.

Sodium Chlorate is primarily used in the bleaching of pulp and there are many chemical industries manufacturing the same. Most often these are imported from China and then supplied to the markets in South Asia and Europe. This hygroscopic white crystalline powder is also used to make chlorine dioxide. Amongst many others the paper industry is one of its primary consumers. It is also used as a defoliant and desiccant for safflower, grain sorghum, flax, soybeans, rice and sunflowers, etc. Its use as a soil-sterilant and broad spectrum non-selective herbicide means that is very important a constituent in many commercially sold herbicide.

Since potassium and sodium are highly reactive with water and are easily combustible these manufacturing units have state of the art facilities and experts at hand.

To know more about procuring chemicals like sodium and potassium logon to: http://www.kplintl.com/.

About Author:
Asit Roy works with http://www.kplintl.com/ – is one of the best chemical company in India, specializes in the marketing of quality products in India. He likes to write about chemicals, polymers, paper and paper chemicals related topics.

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