Potassium

The History of Potassium

In 1807, Sir Humphrey Davy discovered potassium through the electrolysis of molten potash using the first battery. Electrolysis is when a current starts a chemical reaction. It is used very commonly in the separation of elements.
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Properties of Potassium

Potassium is a soft metal. It is silvery-white in color and is a member of the alkali metals. Potassium oxidizes very quickly and the surface will change from a silvery reflective color into a white dulled color when cut or exposed to air.

The Uses of Potassium

Potassium is a very diverse element and is used in many different things. It can be found in fertilizers, soaps and detergents. You have also probably heard of potassium being important in your body. It is an important mineral for every cell in the body. Potassium is an electrolyte which is a substance that conducts electricity. Potassium is most popularly known to be found in bananas, but it can also be found in meats, fish, other fruits, and vegetables.

3 Compounds Containing Potassium

Potassium chloride, KCl, is the most common compound and it is used in fertilizers. Potassium hydroxide, KOH, is used to make soaps, detergents, and drain cleaners.

Potassium carbonate, KHCO3, which is also known as pearl ash, is used to make types of glass and some soaps.

Atomic Number & Atomic Mass

The atomic number of potassium is 19. The atomic mass is 39.098 amu.
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Particles Inside Potassium Atoms

There are 19 protons, 19 electrons, and 20 neutrons.

Potassium Isotopes

There are three naturally occurring isotopes.
  • K-39
  • K-40
  • K-41

Model of an Atom of Potassium

Potassium atoms have one valence electron in their outer shell.
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Lewis Dot Diagram of Potassium

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Potassium is a Part of the Alkali Metals

Some similarities between all of these elements are:


  • they are all soft metals
  • they heavily react with water
  • low densities
  • low melting points
  • low boiling points
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Reactions With Potassium

Potassium reacts with oxygen. K(s) + O2(g) → KO2(s) This is a synthesis reaction. The mole ratio is 1 moles K : 2 moles O
Potassium Metal

Bonding

The compound KOH, potassium hydroxide, is an ionic bonded compound.

The percent composition is K - 70% O - 29% H - 1%

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P otash Was Put Through Electrolysis

O ften Found In Bananas

T wenty Neutrons

A lkali Metals Has Potassium

S ir Humphrey Davy Discovered in 1807

S ome Soap Contains Potassium

I onic Compounds Form With Potassium

U nderneath Sodium

M ass Number is 39

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