Manufacture: Evaporate liquor potassii hydroxidi to dryness, then pour into molds and quickly bottle to prevent deliquescence. It may also be made by action of the metal potassium on water, and evaporating - K + H2O = KOH + H. It is in dry, white or nearly white flakes, fused masses, sticks, hard, brittle, crystalline fracture, odorless (handle and taste very cautiously, as it rapidly destroys organic tissues), on exposure readily absorbs carbon dioxide and moisture (deliquesces), soluble in water (.9), boiling water (.6), alcohol (3), glycerin (2.5), boiling alcohol; aqueous solution strongly alkaline; contains 85 p. c. of pure salt. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution (1 in 10) added to excess of tartaric acid T. S. - white, crystalline precipitate, redissolved by excess of potassium hydroxide. 2. Imparts violet flame. Impurities: Heavy metals, organic matter, insoluble substances. Should be kept in well-closed containers - bottles made of hard glass. Dose, gr. 1-2 (.06-.13 Gm.), well diluted.
Preparations. - 1. Liquor Potassii Hydroxidi. Solution of Potassium Hydroxide. (Syn., Liq. Pot. Hydrox., Liquor Potassae, Solution of Potassa, Solution of Potassium Hydrate, Solution of Caustic Potash, Kali Hydricum Solutum, Lixivium Causticum; Fr. Potasse caustique liquide, Lessive caustique; Ger. Liquor Kali caustici, Kalilauge,
Manufacture: 5 p. c. Dissolve potassium hydroxide 6 Gm. in distilled water q. s. 100 Gm. It is a clear, colorless, odorless, aqueous liquid (solution), very acrid, caustic taste (even if largely diluted, when it only should be tasted), strongly alkaline, readily absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, sp. gr. 1.046; contains not less than 4.5 p. c. of potassium hydroxide. Impurities: Carbonate, etc. Should be kept in bottles made of hard glass, with rubber stoppers, or glass stoppers coated with petrolatum. Dose, ev-30 (.3-2 Ml. (Cc.)), well diluted.
2. Liquor Cresolis Compositus, 8 p. c.
Unoff. Prep.: Potassa with Lime, each 50 p. c; used externally.
Properties. - Potassium hydroxide is one of our strongest caustics or escharotics; destroys tissues by abstracting moisture and dissolving albumin, fibrin, and gelatin. Its action differs from that of silver nitrate in not being superficial, but in penetrating deeply. Internally - before meals stimulates acid secretions, at the end or after meals neutralizes gastric juice already secreted; renders blood alkaline in which it circulates (possibly as carbonates); renders urine alkaline, increasing its power of holding uric acid in solution; promotes waste, bronchial secretions, checks saliva.
Uses. - To cauterize chancres, poisoned wounds, ingrown nails, scrofulous abscesses, carbuncles, tumors, varicose veins, diphtheria, urethral stricture, corns. Internally, as an antacid in acid dyspepsia, calculous disorders. Liquor - used similarly, but owing to less strength has a much milder action; potassa with lime - acts more strongly and is less deliquescent than the pure salt.
Poisoning: Similar to ammonia. Have sensation of heat in throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, feeble, quick pulse, clammy skin, tongue, lips, and throat swollen, soft, red. Give emetics, or wash out stomach, weak acids, lemon juice, vinegar, demulcents, oils, flaxseed tea, egg-white.
Incompatibles: Acids, acid salts, metallic salts, preparations of ammonia, belladonna, hyoscyamus, scopola, and stramonium (alkaloids being decomposed, and all alkaloids being precipitated by alkalies).
Potassa Sulphurata. Sulphurated Potassa. - (Syn., Pot. Sulphurat., Liver of Sulphur, Sulphuret of Potassium, Hepar Sulphuris; Fr. Sulfure de Potasse, Foie de Soufre; Ger. Kalium sulfuratum, (Kali) schwefelleber.
Manufacture: Mix sublimed sulphur 100 Gm. with dried potassium carbonate 200 Gm., heat until fused, pour on a cold marble slab - 3K2CO3 + S8 = 2K2S3 + K2S2O3 + 3CO2. This indefinite chemical compound, a mixture chiefly of potassium polysulphides, K2S3 +, and thiosulphate, K2S2O3, is in the form of irregular pieces, liver-brown when fresh, changing to greenish-yellow and gray by absorbing moisture, oxygen, and carbon dioxide; strong odor of hydrogen sulphide, bitter, acrid, alkaline taste; soluble in water (slight residue), alcohol dissolves only the sulphides; contains sulphides corresponding to 12.8 p. c. of sulphur. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution (1 in 10) is light brown and strongly alkaline, and with excess of acetic acid - brisk evolution of hydrogen sulphide and precipitation of sulphur: filtrate + sodium bitartrate T. S. - white, crystalline precipitate on standing. Dose, gr. 3-10 (.2-.6 -Gm.); externally in lotion, bath, ointment.
Properties and Uses. - Irritant, increases pulse, cutaneous circulation and heat, also mucous secretions: large doses sedative, laxative; chronic rheumatism, gout, cutaneous affections, painter's colic, asthma, chronic nasal catarrh, infantile croup, paralysis, scabies, scrofula, chronic bronchitis, whooping-cough, ascarides by injection.
Potassii Acetas. Potassium Acetate, KC2H3O2. - (Syn., Pot. Acet., Sal Diureticus, Terra Foliata Tartari, Acetas Potassicus (Kalicus); Fr. Acetate de Potasse;Ger. Kalium Aceticum, Kaliumacetat, Essig-saures Kali.)
Manufacture: Almost neutralize acetic acid with potassium carbonate (or bicarbonate), evaporate the solution to dryness, and fuse -(1) K2CO3 + 2HC2H3O2 = 2KC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2. (2) KHCO3 + HC2H3O2 = KC2H3O2 + H2O + CO2. It is a white powder or in crystalline masses of satin-like lustre, odorless, warming, saline taste, very deliquescent, soluble in water (.5), boiling water (.2), alcohol (2.9); contains 99 p. c. of pure salt. Tests: 1. Aqueous solution (1 in 20) alkaline to litmus, no effect on phenolphthalein T. S. 2. Fuses with slight heat, at higher temperature decomposes with inflammable empyreumatic vapors, and black residue of potassium carbonate and carbon, which gives violet flame, is alkaline and effervesces with acids.