How is potassium nitrate soluble in water

Potassium nitrateDrug groupsSalts Potassium nitrate is a salt that releases oxygen when heated and thus promotes fire and explosion. In the past, it was therefore used, among other things, to produce asthma smoke powder and as a diuretic. Today it is hardly used medically any more. When dispensing as open goods in pharmacies and drugstores, it should be noted that potassium nitrate is suitable for the production of black powder, smoke bombs and fuses. It is also added to meat as a preservative (E 252) and is found in sausage, ham and salami, among other things.

synonymous: Kalii nitrasPhEur, saltpeter, potassium nitrate, E 252, potassium nitric acid, Chinese snow, potassium nitricum


Potassium nitrate is available in the open from pharmacies and drugstores.

Structure and properties

Potassium Nitrate (KNO3, Mr = 101.1 g / mol) is available as a white, crystalline powder or as colorless crystals. It is easily soluble in water at room temperature and very easily soluble in boiling water. Potassium nitrate is odorless, tastes cool, salty and somewhat bitter. It should be kept tightly closed and dry.


Potassium nitrate has oxidizing properties. When heated, it releases oxygen, thereby improving combustion and can cause explosions:

  • 2 KNO3 (Potassium nitrate) → 2 KNO2 (Potassium nitrite) + O2 (Oxygen)

See also under redox reactions.

application areas

In pharmacy:

  • Potassium nitrate is found in toothpaste and dental rinses, which are used to treat hypersensitivity to the neck of the tooth.
  • For the production of cold mixtures.

Previous areas of application:

For making fireworks, explosives and gunpowder:

For food:

  • For preserving / curing meat (= E 252).

Various technical applications, for example as a fertilizer.

see also literature
  • swell
  • Poulsen S. et al. Potassium containing toothpastes for dentine hypersensitivity. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2006, CD001476 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 11/23/2019.
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