The cost of potassium is about $40 per pound. It isn’t valued as much as gold or silver. But in terms of versatility, it compares very well with other elements.
Biological Use and Importance
This element is used by plants to give them nutrition and strength. Its importance is attested by the fact it is in various soil types. It is one of the most widely used ingredients in fertilizers.
It is utilized in agriculture and horticulture. Primarily it is used as nitrate and chloride. The agriculture and fertilizer industry consume more than 90% of this element produced worldwide.
Whatever the cost of potassium, its value for organisms cannot be denied. Scientific research has shown it helps animal cells function. Without it, cells would die, weakening and killing the animal.
The potassium ion is one of the most crucial nutrients needed by the human body. It helps in keeping the body healthy and free from sickness and disease. One of the most useful is potassium chloride. Health experts say it is a good substitute for sodium.
Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. By using potassium chloride risks of high blood are lowered. The cost of potassium is further mitigated by its other health benefits. Potassium bromate is a healthy additive to flour. It helps in giving it consistency too.
Another important food additive is bisulfate. Aside from food it can also be used for bleaching garments. It can be used to whiten straw and various materials. Chloride is also an ingredient in heart surgery. The lethal injection applied on prisoners also contains this element.
Magnetometers include this component in their makeup. Combined with other chemicals, it can make solvents. Hydroxide can be used to weaken acids. Other industry uses include hydrolysis and to saponify oil.
Nitrate is used in explosives and black powder. Industries put up with the cost of potassium because of its other uses. It can be utilized to break up metals like copper and silver.
In addition the element is needed for electro plating and creating nitriles. Potash meanwhile, is a vital ingredient in creating glass. Chromate is one of the most versatile. It is part of matches, inks and firecrackers. Fluorosilicate is used in various potteries. Other variants of the element are needed to create mirrors.
Mixed with water, the element will emit gas and often erupt into flames. Keeping the element locked for six months might cause peroxides to appear. This usually forms on the storage where it is kept. In some cases it may erupt.
Proceed with caution when handling it. If it is to be stored in an oxygen free environment, it should be for no more than 90 days. If fire breaks out, special dry chemicals are needed. Do not use water.
For those in various industries, the cost of potassium is minimal compare to its benefits. For people, it is something they need to survive. No value can be placed upon it.