What is potassium sulfate?

Potassium sulfate

The potassium is a very important element whose chemical symbol is K , one metal of type alkaline found abundantly in nature , which is characterized by being very active and easily oxidized in the air. Through various processes, different types of potassium can be obtained, among them we find potassium sulfate , Juan is basically the potassium salt of sulfuric acid .

Potassium sulfate |  What is it, characteristics, history, uses, formulaWhat is potassium sulfate?

The potassium sulfate is usually defined as an essential nutrient for plants that serves to generate proper synthesis of proteins , to regulate the balance water , to assist the plant in case of periods of drought and they have a better resistance to diseases .

  • Potassium sulfate characteristics
  • History
  • Potassium sulfate formula
  • Use as a fertilizer
  • Other uses
  • How it differs from potassium nitrate

Potassium sulfate characteristics

Some of the main characteristics of potassium sulfate are mentioned below.

  • It is considered as the most important source of potassium for crops .
  • It cannot be found naturally but is originated from the refining of some minerals .
  • Must be stored in places closed and have a good ventilation avoiding high temperatures.
  • It is a hygroscopic product , which means that it can become damp when it comes into contact with air.
  • It has a molecular weight of 174,000 g / mol.
  • It has a solubility of 110 gr./litre. of water at 20ºC.
  • It has a pH of 3.0 in concentrations of 1 gr / liter
  • It is in the form of a granular or crystal solid in most cases, although it can also be found in powder .
  • It has a salty and bitter taste .
  • It belongs to the category of potassium fertilizers .
  • It is also known as sulfur potash , dipotassium sulfuric acid salt, arcanum duplicatum, and polyrestum salt.
  • It is soluble in water ; slightly soluble in glycerol ; Insoluble in ethyl alcohol , acetone, and most organic solvents.

It is also important to mention that potassium sulfate is a compound that has a very low lethality because it is not very toxic . When it comes into contact with the eyes, it can cause irritation to the eyes and when it comes into contact with the skin, it actually causes very little damage. If ingested , potassium sulfate can cause irritation to the entire gastrointestinal system that includes a number of symptoms such as nausea , vomiting, and diarrhea . If inhaled , it can also cause irritation to the respiratory tract..


Potassium sulfate has been known since the beginning of the fourteenth century. It was a compound widely studied by Glauber , Tachenius, and Boyle . In the 18th century it obtained the name of salt duplicatum , this because it was a mixture of an acidic salt with an alkaline salt.

Potassium sulfate formula

The chemical formula of potassium sulfate is k2SO4

Use as a fertilizer

Potassium sulfate is a product widely used as a fertilizer thanks to its property of being chlorine-free and for combining two of the most important nutrients for plants, potassium and sulfur, which are also very easily assimilated. It is used mainly in those intensive crops that have a certain sensitivity to chlorine, in addition, thanks to its low salinity index, it is also used in those soils that are at risk of presenting high amounts of it.

Is a product that helps farmers to produce crops of high quality , does not have nitrogen in its components and achieves significantly increase all production and quality of fruits. It is also effective in providing resistance against diseases that can attack plants and also helps control the maturity and fattening of the fruits .

It is also considered to be a fairly pure fertilizer that has the ability to dissolve quite quickly and completely. As it does not present sensitivity to caking, it is a highly recommended product to achieve a good development of fruits or even tubers when there are long periods of drought . It has the ability to improve the cell pressure of plants and at the same time regulates the proper functioning of the stomata, producing an improvement in generative growth .

Other uses

Besides being an excellent fertilizer for crops, potassium sulfate is also used in industry and as a raw material . It is a necessary component in the manufacturing process of the glass and in the process of manufacturing of the potassium carbonate and the alum . In the cosmetic field , it is used as a type of reagent and even in the manufacture of beverages such as beer , it works as a type of water corrective agent.

In the field of medicine , potassium sulfate also has a fairly important use as it is used to reduce the plasma concentration of potassium when hypokalemia occurs . It is also the main ion of many of the excitable cells that exist in the human body, for example cardiac cells , so when there is a serious decrease in potassium, the cardiac system is affected and potassium sulfate turns out to be the ideal medicine to be able to correct the problem immediately. By having a cathartic action , it also helps with constipation problems as they make the expulsion of stool through the colon an easier process.

In the field of veterinary medicine , potassium sulfate is also used in order to reduce the requirements of poultry in terms of feeding, when it is added to the food of laying hens , it has been shown to increase the egg production by about 5%. It also works as a type of flavoring agent for food and can even be used as a pyrotechnic , because when it is done, it produces a purple flame.

How it differs from potassium nitrate

There are several differences that exist between potassium sulfate and potassium nitrate, the most important of which are mentioned below:

  • The solubility of potassium nitrate in water is much greater than that of potassium sulfate, in addition, potassium nitrate can increase depending on the temperature of the water while that of potassium sulfate is always constant .
  • Potassium nitrate can be diluted with greater ease otherwise to what happens with potassium sulfate.
  • Potassium sulfate can not be combined with other types of fertilizers, since the combination may produce insoluble precipitates , which would generate problems in irrigation and fertilization systems; potassium nitrate For its part, it can be mixed with all types of fertilizers that exist.
  • Potassium sulfate contains 50% potassium and 54% sulfate while potassium nitrate contains 13% nitrogen and 46% potassium .

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