Potassium Nitrate

Definition - What does Potassium Nitrate mean?

Potassium nitrate is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KNO3. It is a crystalline solid ranging from a white to a dirty gray color.

Potassium nitrate is noncombustible and soluble in hot water but is not fully soluble in cold water. It is a strong oxidizer and releases oxygen when it decomposes upon heating. Potassium nitrate is prepared commercially by the reaction of potassium chloride with sodium nitrate.

In fires it produces toxic oxides of nitrogen. It used in solid propellants, explosives and fertilizers.

Potassium nitrate is also known as saltpeter.

Corrosionpedia explains Potassium Nitrate

Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound containing potassium and nitrate ions. It is an ionic salt.

Industrially, it is prepared by a double displacement reaction between sodium nitrate and potassium chloride as follows:

NaNO3 (aq) + KCl (aq) --> NaCl (aq) + KNO3 (aq)

Potassium nitrate also used as an anodic inhibitor to prevent corrosion in reinforced concrete structures. It is very effective in preventing corrosion, but it is not used where there are existing aggregates with alkaline because they react with cement and cause extensive damage to the concrete.

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