Potassium is a metal that forms many compounds, and it is important for human nutrition. Potassium is a soft, silvery metal that is soft enough to be cut by a knife. Potassium is among the alkali metals in the periodic table. Potassium and sodium have very similar first ionization energy. Also, in 1702 it was discovered but not supported that they were distinct elements that combine to form a salt, and electrolysis was used to prove in 1807. Besides that, potassium ions are vital for all living cells’ functioning and important in industrial processes. Here are some interesting facts about potassium.
1. Element number
Potassium is element number 19 in the periodic table, and this means it has 19 protons per atom.
2. Alkali metal
Potassium is a highly reactive metal, and that is why it has been grouped under Alkali metal. It is among the metals with a single electron in the outer electron shell that is easily removed to create an ion with a positive charge.
3. Potassium is not found free in nature
Potassium is not found free because of its high reactivity, and supernovas form it. After the formation, it occurs on earth dissolved in seawater. It is found in elemental form in nature because it reacts so readily with water.
Moreover, it is found in various minerals such as carnallite, langbeinite, and sylvite. It is leached from this by weathering.
4. Physical appearance
Potassium is a very lightweight silvery metal, although the metal appears silver when it’s fresh. It has a low melting point, and it’s a good conductor of electricity and heat. It tarnishes and appears dull grey as time passes by.
5. Storing under oil or kerosene
Potassium is stored under oil or kerosene to prevent oxidization in air and reacts in water to produce hydrogen.
6. Potassium ion is very important for all living cells
Plants and animals use potassium and another kind of mineral ions for some important benefits. For example, animals use sodium and potassium ions to generate electric potential. Potassium plays an important role in regulating electric signaling cells, transport of essential nutrients, and enzymatic analysis.
In 1807, potassium was first purified from caustic potash via electrolysis. Potassium was the first metal to be secluded using electrolysis. It was done by chemist sir Humphry Davy when he obtained it by decomposing molten potassium hydroxide with a voltaic battery.
8. Flame color
Element K compounds emit violet flame color when burned. It burns just like sodium in water. The reaction after potassium burning in water is hydrogen production.
9. Heat transfer medium
The salts of potassium are used as a fertilizer, oxidizer, colorant to form strong bases, and many other applications.
10. Origin of potassium name
The name was derived from the English word potash and Arabic qali for alkali.
11. Potassium is an alternative
For people who are advised to decrease their sodium chloride intake, potassium chloride is an alternative. It is used as an alternative to prevent an increase in blood pressure. Moreover, taking potassium instead of sodium helps increase potassium in the body because of its importance and reduces sodium in the body.
Potassium has less density than water, and it is insoluble in water.
13. Melting point and boiling point
Its melting point is 336.53k, and its boiling point is 1031.95 k.
14. Potassium Is very important in the production
Potassium is used in producing soaps, bleaching agents, and glassmaking.
15. Largest industrial use
Potassium is largely used in fertilizer production potassium carbonate production. Moreover, it is used as an electrolyte to produce alkaline batteries and to manufacture biodiesel and deicers for airport runways.
It is used to neutralize strong and weak acids. Potassium bicarbonate is more effective in fire extinguishers than sodium bicarbonate. Some potassium is used in making ingredients, including potassium sodium tartrate is the main component of baking powder, potassium bromate is used to increase the strength and height of the dough.
Moreover, potassium chloride is used as a food preservative in beverages. Potassium nitrate was used to preserve food in the middle ages, and the making of gun powder using potassium was invented in China.
16. Influence it has on the human body
Potassium affects physiological processes such as the Relaxation of cell membrane potentials and propagation of action potentials in nerve, muscle, and cardiac tissues. Because of their electrostatic and chemical properties, K+ ions are larger than Na+ ions, and ion channels and pumps in the cell membrane can differentiate between the two ions by actively pumping one of them or passively passing it through while blocking the other.
Hormone secretion and action Control of vascular tone Systemic arterial pressure, Gastrointestinal motility Acid-base homeostasis. Glucose and insulin metabolism, Minocorticoid action real concentration capacity, Water-electrolyte balance.
It helps in the functioning of your nerve and muscular contractions. Potassium is very important in the health of blood vessels and cells.
17. Potassium is very important to the plant
It helps increase the yield and quantity of agricultural products, and the plant can resist diseases, cold, and drought stresses. It is also associated with the movement of water and nutrients in the plant tissue.
It helps regulate the movements of the stomata( opening and closing) and regulates oxygen and carbon dioxide.
18. Formation of potassium hydroxide
Potassium hydroxide is formed interestingly by soaking wood ashes in water.
19. Part of earth formation
According to the royal society of chemistry, potassium is 2.4 percent of the mass of the earth’s crust.
20. Low potassium in the body
Did you know low potassium in the body is called hypokalemia, and its symptoms include muscle cramps and irregular heartbeat?
21. The incredible fact about potassium is related to women
Women who eat potassium in their diet had little chance of fewer strokes in postmenopausal. In short, women who eat potassium with their diet are 12 percent less likely to have a stroke.