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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: H302-H319
Harmful if swallowed. Causes serious eye irritation.
Precautionary Statements: P280i-P264-P305+P351+P338-P301+P312a-P337+P313-P501a
Wear eye/face protection. Wash thoroughly after handling. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. IF SWALLOWED: Call a POISON CENTER/doctor if you feel unwell. If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention. Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local/regional/national/international regulations.