Caustic Potash also known as Potassium hydroxide is a chemical compound which has the formula of KOH. The material is a white solid which is also commercially available in the form of flakes and pellets. Caustic Potash is similar to sodium hydroxide, which is soluble in water, it is a strong alkali, in addition to being highly corrosive.
The material is used for several applications which include manufacturing of biodiesel, batteries, soaps, fertilizers and fuel cells. Apart from this Caustic Potash also has the following added usages:
- For preparing salts: Since Caustic Potash is a strong alkaline, the potassium hydroxide reacts with several acids and it is this acid base reaction that can be used for the production of potassium salts. These salts can be further used for various applications.
- Neutralization of Acids: Potassium hydroxide can also be used to neutralize acidity and to adjust the pH of various solutions. For chemical analyses, the alkali becomes a valuable agent for acids in order to determine their concentration.
- Production of Soaps: When potassium hydroxide reacts with fats and oils under heated conditions, the process is called saponification. This can produce potassium soaps, which are softer and soluble in comparison to soaps derived from sodium hydroxide.
- For manufacturing Fuel Cells and Batteries: The aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide can be used as an electrolyte for several battery types. It is also an electrolyte for different types of fuel cells.
- Miscellaneous Uses: Potassium hydroxide can be used as a catalyst for manufacturing biodiesel from fats and oils. It also helps in the manufacture of paper. Moreover, it can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur trioxide (SO3), and nitrogen trioxide (NO3) in gas streams. For unclogging of drains, Caustic Potash can prove to be very beneficial. It can also be used in production of cocoa and chocolate and in the washing process of chemical peeling of vegetables and fruits.