How To Prepare Potassium Chloride

Potassium, One of the Elements of Potassium Chloride
••• Image by, courtesy of Hey Paul

Potassium chloride, a table salt substitute, has the simple chemical formula KCl. It consists of one potassium atom combined with one chlorine atom. It might seem easy to react potassium and chlorine to form potassium chloride. While that does work, as will be shown, there are easier ways to prepare potassium chloride.

    React potassium metal directly with chlorine gas. (Do not actually carry out this reaction. It is dangerous and can be understood without doing so.)

    In the reaction, the electropositive potassium atom loses an electron to form the ?1 ion, K?. Chlorine, a halogen, is electronegative and forms the ?1 ion equivalent, Cl?. The reaction between the two elements is:

    2 K + Cl? ? 2 KCl

    Combine potassium hydroxide with hydrochloric acid. This is an acid-base reaction, and is the easiest way to prepare potassium chloride. The reaction is:

    KOH + HCl ? KCl + H?O

    Replace the anion of a weak acid with the anion of a strong acid. As an example, potassium carbonate is the potassium salt of a weak acid--carbonic acid--H?CO?. Reacting it with hydrochloric acid forms the desired potassium chloride, while regenerating the carbonic acid.

    K?CO? + 2 HCl ? 2 KCl + H?CO?

    Exchange the anions of two salts. This reaction is useful if one of the salts of the products is insoluble. In the case of potassium chloride, potassium sulfate can be reacted with barium chloride.

    K?SO? + BaCl? ? 2 KCl + BaSO??

    Barium sulfate is one of the most insoluble substances known.

    Become familiar with oxidation-reduction reactions.

    Potassium hypochlorite reacts with sodium arsenite in the presence of alkali, in this fashion:

    KClO + NaAsO? +NaOH ? KCl + Na?HAsO?

    The potassium hypochlorite is reduced, and the sodium arsenite is oxidized. The chlorine goes from a ?1 to a ?1 state. In gaining electrons, the chlorine has been reduced. The arsenic loses electrons. It has been oxidized.

    Things You'll Need

    • Beakers
    • Chemical reagents
    • Safety equipment

Related Articles

Three Types of Aqueous Reactions
How to Write the Net Ionic Equation for the Reaction...
Sulfuric Acid & Chlorine Bleach Reaction
Why Are Transition Metals Good Catalysts?
How to Figure Out the Chemical Symbol for Ions
What is a Polyatomic Ion?
What is Being Oxidized and What is Being Reduced in...
How to Find the Number of Moles Needed to React
How to Write the Net Ionic Equation for CH3COOH as...
How to Predict Products in Chemical Reactions
Examples of Single Replacement Reactions
What is a Double Replacement Reaction?
How to Calculate HCO3 From CO2
How to Make a 1% Sucrose Solution
How to Solve a Neutralization Equation
List of Arrhenius Acids & Bases
How to Calculate Equivalent Units
How to Calculate the Normality of NaOH
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
How to Mix Calcium Chloride and Water