Potassium is an element naturally found on the earth’s surface and is represented with symbol K and atomic number 19 in the periodic table.
It is the eight most abundantly found element and accounts for more than 2% of the mass on the earth’s crust.
It is a chemically reactive element and is naturally found only in ionic salts and has a soft silvery white appearance.
Since this element is highly reactive, it is not found freely in nature and was isolated by Humpry Davy through electrolysis of caustic potash.
Potassium was the first metal to be isolated by electrolysis method and has dangerous reaction with water and oxygen forming potassium hydroxide and potassium peroxide respectively.
Potassium is used as a chemical in making explosives, match sticks, fertilizers, dyes etc. and as a mineral it is used in preservatives and baking powder.
Potassium is also a major nutrient for the proper functioning of all organs in the human body and deficiency of potassium leads to many health problems.
Potassium enhances bone and cardiovascular health and foods rich in potassium include tender coconut, bananas, carrots, potatoes, white beans, yogurt, fish, avocados etc.
Extra care and precautions is necessary while using this substance as it can corrode tissues and have damaging effects on skin, eyes and lungs.
Potassium is generally stored in oil or kerosene due to its reactive nature and has many applications in various sectors.
Article Written by Sushma Srivatsan [246 Words]
Posted on Oct 2, 2013 with Views.
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