Name used for various inorganic compounds of potassium, chiefly the carbonate (KCO), a white crystalline material formerly obtained from wood ashes. They are used to make special types of glass, potassium silicate (a dehydrating agent), pigments, printing inks, and soft soaps; for washing raw wool; and as a lab reagent and general-purpose food additive. Potassium hydroxide is frequently called caustic potash, and in the fertilizer industry, potassium oxide is called potash.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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