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potassium hydroxide


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A white deliquescent solid, KOH, often sold as pellets, flakes, or sticks, soluble in water and in ethanol and very slightly soluble in ether; rhombic; r.d. 2.044; m.p. 360.4°C; b.p. 1320°C. It is prepared industrially by the electrolysis of concentrated potassium chloride solution but it can also be made by heating potassium carbonate or sulphate with slaked lime, Ca(OH)2. It closely resembles sodium hydroxide but is more soluble and is therefore preferred as an absorber for carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. It is also used in the manufacture of soft soap, other potassium salts, and in Ni-Fe and alkaline storage cells. Potassium hydroxide is extremely corrosive to body tissues and especially damaging to the eyes.

Subjects: Chemistry.


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