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Potassium carbonate has a wide range of industrial and research applications. The major use of potassium carbonate is the manufacture of chemicals, fertilizers, soap and glass. It is used as a drying agent for solvents especially if there are traces of acids present, and as a scavenger of acids produced in organic synthesis. It is used as a buffering agent during the production of wine. It is also used as a fire suppressant in extinguishers. In organic synthesis, it is an extensively used reagent for the alkylation and arylation reactions on carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen centres. It is also used in aldol condensation, Michael reaction, acylation, Wittig reaction, Knoevenagel reaction, elimination reaction, epoxide opening, cyclization, metal-catalyzed cross coupling reaction, hydration, and a wide array of reactions.
In non-aqueous solvents, acts as an economical, moderately-strong base which is widely used in place of other more expensive and hazardous bases in a variety of alkylation and condensation reactions.
Promotes the Wittig olefination reaction in triglyme: Synth. Commun., 22, 513 (1992), or toluene: Synth. Commun., 22, 1691 (1992).
See also Cesium carbonate, 12887.
Mondal, R.; Mallik, A. K. Recent Applications of Potassium Carbonate in Organic Synthesis. Org. Prep. Proced. Int. 2014, 46 (5), 391-434.
Fraley, S. E.; Hall, M. B.; Nennich, T. D. Effect of Variable Water Intake as Mediated by Dietary Potassium Carbonate Supplementation on Rumen dynamics in Lactating Dairy Cows. J. Dairy. Sci. 2015, 98 (5), 3247-3256.
Zhuang, Q. C.; Li, J.; Tian, L. L. Potassium Carbonate as Film Forming Electrolyte Additive for Lithium-ion Batteries. J. Power Sources 2013, 222, 177-183.
Hazard Statements: H315-H319-H335
Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye irritation. May cause respiratory irritation.
Precautionary Statements: P261-P264b-P271-P280-P302+P352-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P312-P332+P313-P337+P313-P362-P501c
Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. If skin irritation occurs: Get medical advice/attention. If eye irritation persists: Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse. Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant