Synthesis of potassium

Preparation of potassium

Usually potassium is prepared by electrolyzing molten potassium chloride. However, there is very interesting synthesis for preparation of metallic potassium without electrolysis [1,2]

Preparation of potassium

Preparation of potassium

To the 250 ml round bottom flask fitted with reflux condenser, dropping 100 ml Shellsol D70 (which is alkanes and cycloalkanes of average molecular weight 174 g/mol with boiling point 200–240°C, d=0.79 g/l), 12.6 g potassium hydroxide, and 6.4 g magnesium powder are placed. The reaction flask is heated, and at 150° C, the magnesium reacts with the molten potassium hydroxide, generating hydrogen and magnesium oxide. From the dropping funnel 1.2 g tert-butyl alcohol in 5 ml D70 are slowly added and the temperature raised to 220° C, generating 5.6 g potassium (82% yield) in 4 hours. During the reaction the potassium is coalesced by the regeneration of tert-butyl alcohol and this can be completed by swirling the solids at 65° C in a stoppered flask with 50 ml dioxan to which 0.2 g tert-butyl alcohol have been added. The initiation stage is very sensitive to K-reactive species in the paraffin, and equivalent reactions with sodium are much slower due to the lower solubility of sodium tert-butoxide.

[1] Small-scale synthesis of laboratory reagents with reaction modeling, L. Lerner, 48, 2011

[2] Krennrich, O., Process for producing alkali metals in elemental form, U.S. Patent No. 4725311, 1988





InChI Key


Canonical SMILES


Depositor-Supplied Synonyms

potassium ion, potassium(1+), Potassium cation, Potassium(+), Potassium (ion), Potassium ion(+), Potassium monocation, Potassium (K+), Potassium ion(1+), Potassium ion (K+), 24203-36-9, UNII-295O53K152, K+, Potassium, ion (K1+), potassium(I) cation, Nabumeton A (TN), Potassium (1+), potassium(1+) ion, Potassium ion (K1+), AC1Q1TQB, AC1L1A2Z, 385883_ALDRICH, CHEBI:29103, HMDB00586, AR-1L1630, MCULE-5932450224, Potassium, ion (K1+) (8CI,9CI), AN-19412, K(+), 295O53K152, C00238, D08403, I14-57515, I14-115302, I14-115303, UNII-87GE52P74G component NPYPAHLBTDXSSS-UHFFFAOYSA-N, K1+

Removed Synonyms

POTASSIUM, Kalium, CID813, 7440-09-7, 4-(2,3-Dihydroxypropyl)-2-(2-methylene-4,4-dimethylpentyl)succinate potassium salt solution, 52938-97-3

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *