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Encyclopedia > Potassium nitrate
Potassium nitrate
General
Other names Nitrate of potash
Saltpetre
Molecular formula KNO3
Molar mass 101.1032 g/mol
Appearance white solid
CAS number 7757-79-1
Properties
Density and phase 2.11 g/cm³, solid
Solubility in water 35.7 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Melting point 334 °C
Boiling point 400 °C decomp.
Structure
Crystal structure Orthorhombic, Aragonite
Hazards
MSDS External MSDS
EU classification  
NFPA 704
0
1
3
ox
R-phrases  
S-phrases  
Supplementary data page
Structure and
properties
n, εr, etc.
Thermodynamic
data
Phase behaviour
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS
Related compounds
Other anions Potassium nitrite
Other cations Lithium nitrate
Sodium nitrate
Rubidium nitrate
Caesium nitrate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references
The crystal structure of KNO3

The chemical compound potassium nitrate KNO3 is a naturally occurring mineral source of nitrogen that constitutes a critical oxidising component of black powder gunpowder. In the past it was also used for burning fuse technologies including slow matches. It readily precipitates and was widely "harvested" since the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern era through the 19th century from urine from which it was forced to crystallise in various odorous ways. Its common names include saltpetre (from Medieval Latin sal petrae: "stone salt" or possibly "Salt of Petra"), American English saltpeter, Nitrate of potash and nitre. The name Chile saltpetre is also applied to sodium nitrate, which while related to explosives as well, is a very different compound. Image File history File links A sample of Potassium nitrate. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... CAS registry numbers are unique numerical identifiers for chemical compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. ... In physics, density is mass m per unit volume V. For the common case of a homogeneous substance, it is expressed as: where, in SI units: ρ (rho) is the density of the substance, measured in kg·m-3 m is the mass of the substance, measured in kg V is... In the physical sciences, a phase is a set of states of a macroscopic physical system that have relatively uniform chemical composition and physical properties (i. ... Solubility is a chemical property referring to the ability for a given substance, the solute, to dissolve in a solvent. ... This article describes water from a scientific and technical perspective. ... The melting point of a crystalline solid is the temperature at which it changes state from solid to liquid. ... Italic text This article is about the boiling point of liquids. ... Enargite crystals In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. ... In crystallography, the orthorhombic crystal system is one of the 7 lattice point groups. ... Aragonite Aragonite is a polymorph of the mineral calcite, both having the chemical composition CaCO3. ... An example MSDS in a US format provides guidance for handling a hazardous substance and information on its composition and properties. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into potassium nitrate. ... Council Directive 67/548/EEC of 27 June 1967 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (as amended) is the main European Union law concerning chemical safety. ... NFPA 704 is a standard maintained by the U.S. National Fire Protection Association. ... Image File history File links NFPA_704. ... R-phrases are defined in Annex III of European Union Directive 67/548/EEC: Nature of special risks attributed to dangerous substances and preparations. ... S-phrases are defined in Annex IV of European Union Directive 67/548/EEC: Safety advice concerning dangerous substances and preparations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into potassium nitrate. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into potassium nitrate. ... The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a medium is a measure for how much the speed of light (or other waves such as sound waves) is reduced inside the medium. ... The relative dielectric constant of a material under given conditions is a measure of the extent to which it concentrates electrostatic lines of flux. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into potassium nitrate. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into potassium nitrate. ... Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy or Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometry (UV/ VIS) involves the spectroscopy of photons (spectrophotometry). ... Infrared spectroscopy (IR Spectroscopy) is the subset of spectroscopy that deals with the IR region of the EM spectrum. ... Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy is the name given to the technique which exploits the magnetic properties of certain nuclei. ... Mass spectrometry (also known as mass spectroscopy (deprecated)[1] or informally, mass-spec and MS) is an analytical technique used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. ... This article is about the electrically charged particle. ... Potassium nitrite, with chemical formula NaCaAr2, is a hallucinogen which contains copper and Beryillium. ... This article is about the electrically charged particle. ... Lithium nitrate is an oxidizing agent used in the manufacture of fireworks and flares. ... Made of Porn and sex things Inhalation respiratory irritation Skin May cause irritation. ... Rubidium Nitrate has a chemical formula of RbNO3. ... In chemistry, the standard state of a material is its state at 1 bar (100 kilopascals) and 25 degrees Celsius (298. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1100x784, 454 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Potassium nitrate ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1100x784, 454 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Potassium nitrate ... A chemical compound is a chemical substance of two or more different chemically bonded chemical elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ... General Name, symbol, number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, period, block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless (gas) very pale blue (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... Black powder was the original gunpowder and practically the only known propellant and explosive until the middle of the 19th century. ... Smokeless powder Gunpowder is a pyrotechnic composition, an explosive mixture that burns rapidly, producing volumes of hot gas which can be used as a propellant in firearms and fireworks. ... The slow match is another term for the slow-burning fuse used by early gunpowder armies to light matchlock muskets. ... Dante by Michelino The Late Middle Ages is a term used by historians to describe European history in the period of the 14th to 16th centuries (AD 1300–1500). ... The early modern period is a term initially used by historians to refer mainly to the post Late Middle Ages period in Western Europe (Early modern Europe), its first colonies marked by the rise of strong centralized governments and the beginnings of recognizable nation states that are the direct antecedents... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Frost crystallization on a shrub. ... Petra (from petra, rock in Greek; Arabic: البتراء, Al-Butrā) is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. ... Made of Porn and sex things Inhalation respiratory irritation Skin May cause irritation. ...

Contents

Description

Potassium nitrate is the oxidizing component of black powder. Prior to the large-scale industrial fixation of nitrogen through the Haber process, a major source of Potassium nitrate was the deposits crystallising from cave walls or the drainings of decomposing organic material. Dung-heaps were a particularly common source: ammonia from the decomposition of urea and other nitrogenous materials would undergo bacterial oxidation to produce nitrate. It was and is also used as a component in some fertilisers. When used by itself as a fertiliser, it has an NPK rating of 13-0-44 (indicating 13%, 0%, and 44% of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, by mass, respectively). Potassium nitrate was once thought to induce impotence, and was rumoured to be added to institutional food as an anaphrodisiac. If true, the treatment was ineffective, as potassium nitrate has no such properties.[1] Black powder was the original gunpowder and practically the only known propellant and explosive until the middle of the 19th century. ... The Haber Process (also known as Haber–Bosch process) is the reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen to produce ammonia. ... “Spoilage” redirects here. ... Organic material or organic matter is informally used to denote a material that originated as a living organism; most such materials contain carbon and are capable of decay. ... Ammonia is a compound with the formula NH3. ... Urea is an organic compound with the chemical formula (NH2)2CO. Urea is also known as carbamide, especially in the recommended International Nonproprietary Names (rINN) in use in Europe. ... It has been suggested that fertilization (soil) be merged into this article or section. ... Impotence or, more clinically, erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. ... An anaphrodisiac is something that quells or blunts the libido. ...


Manufacture

Historically[2], nitre-beds were prepared by mixing manure with either mortar or wood ashes, common earth and organic materials such as straw to give porosity to a compost pile typically 1.5 metres high by 2 metres wide by 5 metres long. The heap was usually under a cover from the rain, kept moist with urine, turned often to accelerate the decomposition and leached with water after approximately one year. The liquid containing various nitrates was then converted with wood ashes to potassium nitrates, crystallised and refined for use in gunpowder. Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ... Smokeless powder Gunpowder is a pyrotechnic composition, an explosive mixture that burns rapidly, producing volumes of hot gas which can be used as a propellant in firearms and fireworks. ...


In more rural times, urine was collected and used in the manufacture of gunpowder. Stale urine was filtered through a barrel full of straw and allowed to continue to sour for a year or more. After this period of time, water was used to wash the resulting chemical salts from the straw. This slurry was filtered through wood ashes and allowed to dry in the sun. Saltpetre crystals were then collected and added to brimstone and charcoal to create black powder. General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Standard atomic weight 32. ... Charcoal is the blackish residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. ... Black powder was the original gunpowder and practically the only known propellant and explosive until the middle of the 19th century. ...


Potassium nitrate could also be harvested from accumulations of bat guano in caves. This was the traditional method used in Laos for the manufacture of gunpowder for Bang Fai rockets. The Chincha guano islands in Peru. ...


During the 19th century and until around World War I, potassium nitrate was produced on an industrial scale from the deposits of sodium nitrate (NaNO3, nitratine) in the Chilean deserts.This source of nitrates was replaced by synthetically produced nitrates, first by the Birkeland-Eyde process in 1905, and then later from ammonium produced by the much more efficient Haber process. The latter process came online during World War I, and supplied Germany with nitrates critical for the warfare that it otherwise had no access to the deposits of natural nitrate in Chile. It is assumed that this prolonged World War I. Today practically all nitrates are produced by ammonia from the Haber process. Made of Porn and sex things Inhalation respiratory irritation Skin May cause irritation. ... The Birkeland-Eyde process was developed by the Norwegian industrialist and scientist Kristian Birkeland along with his business partner Sam Eyde. ... The Haber Process (also known as Haber–Bosch process) is the reaction of nitrogen and hydrogen to produce ammonia. ...


Applications

Potassium nitrate is also used as a fertiliser, in model rocket propellant, and in several fireworks such as smoke bombs, in which a mixture with sugar produces a smoke cloud of 600 times their own volume. The ratio for smoke bombs using sucrose (powdered sugar) and potassium nitrate is 40(C12H22O11):60(KNO3). It can be used as is, or carefully melted together using a hot plate.[3] It has been suggested that fertilization (soil) be merged into this article or section. ... Rocket Candy is a term used to describe the practice of manufacturing rocket fuel from a formulation using sugar as a fuel and binder. ... Home made smoke powder burning Smoke bombs are a firework designed to produce colored smoke upon ignition. ... A hot plate is a small electric stove often used in a laboratory setting to heat glassware. ...


In the process of food preservation, potassium nitrate has been a common ingredient of salted meat, but its use has been deprecated. In the European Union, it is referred to as E252. Various preserved foods Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food in such a way as to stop or greatly slow down spoilage to prevent foodborne illness while maintaining nutritional value, density, texture and flavor. ... For the mathematical constant see: E (mathematical constant). ...


It is commonly used in pre-rolled cigarettes to maintain an even burn of the tobacco.


It has also been used in the manufacture of ice cream and can be found in some toothpastes for sensitive teeth. Recently, the use of potassium nitrate in toothpastes for sensitive teeth has increased dramatically, despite the fact that it has not been conclusively shown to help dental hypersensitivity.[4] Missing image Ice cream is often served on a stick Boxes of ice cream are often found in stores in a display freezer. ... Modern toothpaste gel Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used to clean and improve the aesthetic appearance and health of teeth. ... Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ... Modern toothpaste gel Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used to clean and improve the aesthetic appearance and health of teeth. ... Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ...


Potassium nitrate is also one of the three parts of black powder, along with powdered charcoal (substantially carbon) and sulfur. It acts as an oxidiser, oxidising the carbon and sulfur to their respective oxides. European Union Chemical hazard symbol for oxidizing agents Dangerous goods label for oxidizing agents Oxidizing agent placard An oxidizing agent (also called an oxidant or oxidizer) is A chemical compound that readily transfers oxygen atoms or A substance that gains electrons in a redox chemical reaction. ...


References

  1. ^ Does saltpeter suppress male ardor?
  2. ^ Instructions for the Manufacture of Saltpetre, Joseph LeConte, 1862
  3. ^ Smoke Mix recipe
  4. ^ Potassium containing toothpastes for dentine hypersensitivity

See also

The chemical compound nitric acid (HNO3), also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is an aqueous solution of hydrogen nitrate (anhydrous nitric acid). ... Niter or nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter. ... Black powder was the original gunpowder and practically the only known propellant and explosive until the middle of the 19th century. ... Smokeless powder Gunpowder is a pyrotechnic composition, an explosive mixture that burns rapidly, producing volumes of hot gas which can be used as a propellant in firearms and fireworks. ... Made of Porn and sex things Inhalation respiratory irritation Skin May cause irritation. ... Sodium nitrite, with chemical formula NaNO2, is used as a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish. ... Potassium nitrite, with chemical formula NaCaAr2, is a hallucinogen which contains copper and Beryillium. ...

External links

  • International Chemical Safety Card 018402216

  Results from FactBites:
 
Spartanburg SC | GoUpstate.com | Spartanburg Herald-Journal (867 words)
Potassium nitrate is the oxidizing component of fl powder.
Potassium nitrate was once thought to induce impotence, and is still rumored to be in institutional food (such as military fare) as an anaphrodisiac.
Potassium nitrate is also used as a fertilizer, in amateur rocket propellant, and in several fireworks such as smoke bombs, in which a mixture with sugar produces a smoke cloud of 600 times their own volume.
Potassium - MSN Encarta (712 words)
Potassium metal is prepared by the electrolysis of fused potassium hydroxide or of a mixture of potassium chloride and potassium fluoride.
Potassium bromide (KBr), a white solid formed by the reaction of potassium hydroxide and bromine, is used in photography, engraving, and lithography, and in medicine as a sedative.
Potassium hydroxide (KOH), called caustic potash, a white solid that is dissolved by the moisture in the air, is prepared by the electrolysis of potassium chloride or by the reaction of potassium carbonate and calcium hydroxide; it is used in the manufacture of soap and is an important chemical reagent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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