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Commercial and Industrial Uses of Potassium Aluminum Sulfate
September 30, 2019

Potassium aluminum sulfate, also known as potassium alum or potash alum, is the potassium double sulfate of aluminum with chemical formula KAI(SO4)2.  Usually potassium alum appears in the hydrated form and thus has the chemical formula KAI(SO4)2·12H2O.  This compound is commonly used in cosmetics as a deodorant, aftershave treatment, and as an astringent and styptic for minor bleeding.  It can also be found in baking powder and sees use in water purification, tanning and dyeing, and in the manufacture of textiles and flame retardants.  Potash alum can be used to speed up the hardening of concrete and plaster, and it acts as a catalyst in various chemical reactions. 

A naturally occurring mineral, potassium alum can be found on rock surfaces in areas of weathering and oxidation.  It was known to the ancient Egyptians, who obtained it from the Western Desert for water treatment at least as early as 1500 BC.  Historically, potassium alum was primarily extracted from the mineral alunite, found among sulfur-containing volcanic sediments.  Today it is produced industrially by adding potassium sulfate or potassium chloride to a concentrated solution of aluminum sulfate.  The aluminum sulfate is typically obtained by treating minerals such as bauxite or cryolite with sulfuric acid.  The final potassium alum product is sold either in crystalline form or as a fine white powder.

Potassium aluminum sulfate also lends itself to a popular science project as it can be used to grow impressive clear, non-toxic crystals.  Potassium aluminum sulfate crystals grow larger than the typical salt crystal, and they can be made quickly using ordinary household kitchen items.   

Contact Independent Chemical today to inquire about Potassium Aluminum Sulfate (CAS 7784-24-9) or to request a quote on thousands of other chemical products for cosmetics & personal care, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemical synthesis, environmental remediation, industrial manufacturing and more. 


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