potash


potash
/pot"ash'/, n.
1. potassium carbonate, esp. the crude impure form obtained from wood ashes.
2. potassium hydroxide.
3. the oxide of potassium, K2O.
4. potassium, as carbonate of potash.
[1615-25; back formation from pl. pot-ashes, trans. of early D potasschen. See POT1, ASH1]

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Name used for various inorganic compounds of potassium, chiefly the carbonate (K2CO3), 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.

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      various potassium compounds, chiefly crude potassium carbonate. The names caustic potash, potassa, and lye are frequently used for potassium hydroxide (see potassium). In fertilizer terminology, potassium oxide is called potash. Potash soap (soap and detergent) is a soft soap made from the lye leached from wood ashes.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Potash — Potash, from the Dutch potaschen, meaning pot ashes, is the common name for any of several compounds containing potassium, such as potassium carbonate (K2CO3), potassium oxide (K2O) and potassium chloride (KCl). These compounds are used primarily …   Investment dictionary

  • Potash — Pot ash , n. [Pot + ash.] (Chem.) (a) The hydroxide of potassium hydrate, a hard white brittle substance, {KOH}, having strong caustic and alkaline properties; hence called also {caustic potash}. (b) The impure potassium carbonate obtained by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • potash — 1640s, loan translation of Du. potaschen, lit. pot ashes; so called because it was originally obtained by soaking wood ashes in water and evaporating the mixture in an iron pot. Cf. Ger. Pottasche, Dan. potaske, Swed. pottaska. See also POTASSIUM …   Etymology dictionary

  • potash — ► NOUN ▪ an alkaline potassium compound, especially potassium carbonate or hydroxide. ORIGIN from pot ashes, because originally obtained by leaching vegetable ashes and evaporating the solution in iron pots …   English terms dictionary

  • potash — [pät′ash΄] n. [earlier in pl., potashes < Du potasschen < pot, POT1 + asch, ASH1: orig. prepared by evaporating the lixivium of wood ashes in iron pots] 1. a) POTASSIUM CARBONATE (esp. when obtained from wood ashes) …   English World dictionary

  • Potash — For other uses, see Potash (disambiguation). Potash Potash /ˈpɒtæʃ/ is the common name for various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water soluble form.[1] In some rare cases, pota …   Wikipedia

  • potash — /ˈpɒtæʃ / (say potash) noun 1. potassium carbonate, especially the crude impure form obtained from wood ashes. 2. → caustic potash. 3. the oxide of potassium, K2O. 4. potassium: carbonate of potash. {earlier pot ashes, plural, translation of… …   Australian English dictionary

  • potash — [17] Potassium carbonate was originally obtained by burning wood or other vegetable matter, soaking the ashes in water, and evaporating the resulting liquid in iron pots. The potato 390 resulting substance was hence called in early modern Dutch… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • potash — [17] Potassium carbonate was originally obtained by burning wood or other vegetable matter, soaking the ashes in water, and evaporating the resulting liquid in iron pots. The resulting substance was hence called in early modern Dutch potasschen,… …   Word origins

  • potash — [[t]pɒ̱tæʃ[/t]] N UNCOUNT Potash is a white powder obtained from the ashes of burnt wood and is sometimes used as a fertilizer …   English dictionary


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