International name: Potassium Nitrate

Synonyms: potassium nitrate, potassium nitrate, indium nitrate

Chemical formula: KNO3

Appearance: white crystals

Production: Belgium, Jordan

Packaging and storage: bags 25 kg; up to 2 years


Potassium nitrate is an inorganic compound, the potassium salt of nitric acid. In the crystalline state - a colorless substance, non-volatile, slightly hygroscopic, odorless.
Potassium nitrate is very soluble in water.
It is practically non-toxic to living organisms. Occurs in nature in the form of mineral nitrate, in the East Indies there is one of the largest deposits, hence the second name - Indian saltpeter. Very small amounts are found in plants and animals. The shape of the crystals is needle-like, the crystals themselves are quite long.


Potassium nitrate under normal conditions is a colorless crystal (in a crushed state a white powder) with an ionic structure and a rhombic or hexagonal crystal lattice. Slightly hygroscopic, tends to be slightly caked with time. Does not smell, non-volatile. It decomposes at 400-520 ° C.
Very soluble in water, medium in glycerine, liquid ammonia, hydrazine, insoluble in pure ethanol and ether


Potassium nitrate KNO3 decomposes at a temperature of 400 ° C with the formation of potassium nitrite KNO2 and oxygen O2. This substance acts as a strong oxidant, reacts with combustible materials and reducing agents. The KNO3 substance is reduced by hydrogen at the time of isolation. Under laboratory conditions, KNO3 is produced by the reaction of potassium Ca (NO3) 2 and calcium saltpeter K2CO3, which is the oldest method of obtaining this substance. At present, potassium sulfate K2SO4 is used instead of potassium. A solution of potassium nitrate is obtained by the same reaction. Among modern methods of obtaining potassium nitrate KNO3, the reaction of potassium chloride KCl and sodium nitrate NaNO3 is more affordable and cheaper.


The main application for today is the use of potassium nitrate as fertilizer in agriculture. This fertilizer combines two elements that somewhat block the assimilation of one another by plants. In addition, irreplaceable substance in pyrotechnics, the manufacture of smoky powder, caramel rocket fuel. It finds application in such areas as the electrovacuum industry, optical glass making (with its help, the technical crystal glasses are discolored and clarified, the strength of glass products is given). In the food industry, the preservative E252 is used in the manufacture of meat products such as sausages, sausages and canned meat, as well as for the production of cheeses

Security requirements

Potassium nitrate, under the guise of a preservative (E252), can harm people's health. This is due to the fact that when you use it for cooking food in the body gets a large part of it. There, it can be transformed into nitrites, which have negative effects on the internal systems of the human body.roducts containing potassium nitrate are not recommended for daily use. Food additive Е252 is prohibited for use in the production of baby food.


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