Potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. In its pure state, it is odourless and has a white or colourless vitreous crystal appearance, with a crystal structure that cleaves easily in three directions. Potassium chloride crystals are face-centered cubic (FCC). Potassium chloride was historically known as "muriate of potash". Potash varies in color from pink or red to white depending on the mining and recovery process used. White potash, sometimes referred to as soluble potash, is usually higher in analysis and is used primarily for making liquid starter fertilizers.
Potassium chloride occurs naturally as sylvite, and it can be extracted from sylvinite. It is also extracted from salt water and can be manufactured by crystallization from solution, flotation or electrostatic separation from suitable minerals. It is a by-product of the making of nitric acid from potassium nitrate and hydrochloric acid.
Food Industry: Used as a food additive that acts as a stabilizer and thickener in many food products such as dairy food and dairy food alternatives products.
Agriculture Industry: Used for making fertilizer, since the growth of many plants is limited by their potassium intake. As a chemical feedstock, it is used for the manufacture of potassium hydroxide and potassium metal.
Medicine Industry: Used to treat or prevent low amounts of Potassium in the Blood.
Other Applications: Used in medicine, lethal injections, scientific applications, and as a sodium-free substitute for table salt (sodium chloride).