Potassium: Uses And Characteristics With Its Atomic Properties

We elaborate the uses of Potassium and atomic properties with characteristics. Potassium is a silver-white chemical element with an atomic number of 19. Its symbol is K and it belongs to the group of alkali metals and its usual state in nature is solid. Potassium is located at position 19 on the periodic table.

On this page you can discover the chemical properties of potassium and information about potassium and other elements on the periodic table such as sodium, rubidium, calcium or hydrogen. You will also learn what potassium is for and you will know its uses through its properties associated with potassium, such as its atomic number or the usual state in which potassium can be found.

You will be able to see qualities of potassium such as its melting and boiling point, its magnetic properties or what its chemical symbol is. In addition, here you will find information about its atomic properties such as the distribution of electrons in potassium atoms and other properties.

For some elements, some of this information is unknown. In these cases we show the properties attributed to them.

Properties of potassium

Potassium belongs to the group of alkali metals. This group of elements is characterized by having a single electron at its outermost energy level and they tend to lose it, thus forming a monopositive ion. This tendency of alkali metals such as potassium is due to their low ionization energy and their low electronic affinity.

The state of potassium in its natural form is solid. Potassium is a silver-white chemical element and belongs to the group of alkali metals. The atomic number of potassium is 19. The chemical symbol for potassium is K. The melting point of potassium is 336.53 degrees Kelvin or 64.38 degrees Celsius or degrees Celsius. The boiling point of potassium is 1032 degrees Kelvin or 759.85 degrees Celsius or degrees Celsius.

Potassium is a mineral that our body needs for its proper functioning and can be found in food. Through the following link, you can find a list of foods with potassium .

Uses of potassium

Potassium ions are vital for plant and animal life. Fruits contain a high amount of potassium ions. If you have ever wondered what potassium is for , here is a list of its possible uses:

  • Almost all the potassium in the world is used in fertilizers. Since potassium ions are a vital part of plant nutrition, crops and trees must be grown in soils with high concentrations of potassium ions. Potassium chloride, potassium sulfate, and potassium nitrate are used in agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponic crops.
  • Potassium chloride is used to stop the heart. This is used for heart surgery (when the heart stops and reactivates again) and for lethal injections.
  • Rochelle salt, which contains potassium, is the main component of baking powder.
  • Potassium bromate is added to flour to make it stronger and increase its density.
  • Another potassium compound, potassium bisulfate, is used to preserve food (except meat), wine, and beer . It can also be used to clean and discolor fabrics and dye leather.
  • Submarines and spacecraft often contain potassium superoxide (KO2). This supplies oxygen to the crew of the submarine or a spacecraft.
  • Potassium hydroxide is a strong base. It is used in industries and science laboratories to neutralize acids and make potassium salts. It is also added to fats and oils to make soap.
  • Potassium chlorate is used to kill weeds. It is also used in safety matches.
  • Tempered glass (stronger than ordinary glass) is made using potassium nitrate.
  • Two potassium compounds are used as inks and dyes.
  • Potassium cyanide is used in gold mining .

Atomic properties of potassium

The atomic mass of an element is determined by the total mass of neutrons and protons that can be found in a single atom belonging to this element. As for the position where to find potassium within the periodic table of the elements, potassium is in group 1 and period 4. Potassium has an atomic mass of 39.0983 u.

The electronic configuration for potassium is [Ar] 4s1. The electronic configuration of the elements, determines the form in which the electrons are structured in the atoms of an element. The average radius for potassium is 220 pm, its atomic radius or Bohr radius is 243 pm, its covalent radius is 196 pm, and its Van der Waals radius is 275 pm. Potassium has a total of 19 electrons whose distribution is as follows: In the first layer it has 2 electrons, in the second it has 8 electrons, in its third layer it has 8 electrons and in the fourth one, 1 electron.

Potassium characteristics

Below you can see a table showing the main characteristics of potassium.

Chemical symbol K
Atomic number 19
Group one
Period 4
Appearance silver white
Block s
Density 856 kg / m3
Atomic mass 39.0983 u
Average radius 220 pm
Atomic radio 243
Covalent radius 196 pm
Van der Waals radio 275 pm
Electronic configuration [Ar] 4s1
Electrons per layer 2, 8, 8, 1
Oxidation states 1 (strong base)
Crystal structure body centered cubic
State solid
Melting point 336.53 K
Boiling point 1032 K
Heat of fusion 2,334 kJ / mol
Vapor pressure 1.06 × 10-4Pa at 336.5 K
Electronegativity 0.82
Specific heat 757 J / (K · kg)
Thermal conductivity 102.4 W / (Km)

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