The key difference between Potassium Carbonate and Potassium Bicarbonate is that potassium carbonate molecule has no hydrogen atoms in its chemical structure whereas potassium bicarbonate molecule has one hydrogen atom in its chemical structure.
What is Potassium Carbonate?
Potassium carbonate is a potassium salt having the chemical formula K2CO3. It is highly water soluble and forms a strongly alkaline aqueous solution. In addition, it is highly deliquescent. Therefore, it absorbs water vapor from the atmosphere and dissolves.
Properties of Potassium Carbonate
Some chemical facts about potassium carbonate are as follows:
- Chemical formula = K2CO3
- Molar mass = 138.2 g/mol
- Melting point =891 °C
- Boiling point =decomposes
- Appearance = white solid
- Water solubility = highly water soluble
Potassium carbonate production involves the electrolysis of potassium chloride (KCl). This gives potassium hydroxide (KOH). Then carbonation of this using carbon dioxide forms potassium carbonate.
What is Potassium Bicarbonate?
Potassium bicarbonate is a potassium salt having the chemical formula KHCO3. It is a colorless and odorless solid and it appears as white crystals. This compound is slightly basic. Furthermore, it rarely occurs naturally in a form of mineral; kalicinite.
Properties of Potassium Bicarbonate
Some chemical facts about potassium bicarbonate are as follows:
- Chemical formula = KHCO3
- Molar mass = 100.12 g/mol
- Meting point =292 °C
- Boiling point = decomposes
- Appearance = white crystals
- Water solubility =water soluble
A major use of this compound is as a leavening agent for bakery products. In addition, it is a major additive in winemaking to regulate the pH. Moreover, potassium bicarbonate is a strong fire suppressing agent and an effective fungicide.
What is the Difference Between Potassium Carbonate and Potassium Bicarbonate?
Potassium Carbonate vs Potassium Bicarbonate
|A potassium salt that has the chemical formula K2CO3.||A potassium salt that has the chemical formula KHCO3.|
|Appears as a white solid.||Appears as white crystals.|
|138.2 g/mol||100.12 g/mol|
|Highly alkaline||Slightly basic|
|891 °C||292 °C|
Summary – Potassium Carbonate vs Potassium Bicarbonate
Potassium carbonate and bicarbonate are potassium salts that are basic compounds. The difference between potassium carbonate and potassium bicarbonate is that potassium carbonate molecule has no hydrogen atoms in its chemical structure whereas potassium bicarbonate molecule has one hydrogen atom in its chemical structure.
1. “Potassium Carbonate.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
2. “Potassium Bicarbonate.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 May 2018. Available here