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Eng: Carbonate of potassium;
French: Carbonate de potasse;
Italian: Carbonato di potassio
Triturations with sugar of milk.
Minerals; Inorganic; Alkalis - Column One
Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. V, 281
Description of the substance
Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is a white salt, soluble in water (insoluble in alcohol), which forms a strongly alkaline solution. It can be made as the product of potassium hydroxide's absorbent reaction with carbon dioxide. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is used in the production of soap and glass.
Potassium carbonate was first identified in 1742 by Antonio Campanella and is the primary component of potash and the more refined pearl ash or salts of tartar. Historically pearl ash was created by baking potash in a kiln to remove impurities. The fine white powder remaining was the pearl ash. The first patent issued by the U.S. Patent Office was awarded to Samuel Hopkins in 1790 for an improved method of making potash and pearl ash.
In late 18th century North America, before the development of baking powder, pearl ash was used as a leavening agent in quick breads.