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as a fertilizer[edit]

It would be nice to know more about the benefits potash provides to the soil, and what part of plant biology it improves, etc.Saritamackita 03:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

patash is Potassium Carbonate K2CO3, Caustic Potash is potassium hydroxide KOH, Causic is NaOH

Also, pearlash was created by baking out the carbon impurities in potash, thus it wouldn't be K2CO3...
~ender 2005-03-18 02:10:MST
Okay, so where are your sources on pearlash being K2C03?
Here's a source that says carbon impurities were burnt off. [1]
~ender 2005-03-18 12:15:MST
Here are some that say it's K2C03: [2], [3], [4], [5], and many others. Baking off the carbon impurities apparently doesn't change the basic chemical composition. Note that pearlash is still somewhat impure, just more pure than potash, still containing small amounts of other potassium salts. Nonenmac 20:29, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Cool. Btw, did I tell you thanks for adding all the stuff to this and pearlash?
~ender 2005-03-19 07:25:MST

So Rmhermen, why'd you delete out the 'how to make' section, and did you bother to put it anywhere else, besides lost in the history of the potash article?
-- ~ender 2005-03-18 02:00:MST

Potash's change in meaning around 1950[edit]

I loved the discussion and references in this article to the harvesting of hardwoods in the US in the early 1800s to furnish potassium carbonate.

There is a difficulty in writing this article, which is that the definition of potash basically changed around 1950. Before 1950 potash was roughly synonymous with potassium carbonate. After 1950, it basically became a generic term for a variety of potassium-bearing compounds used for fertilizer. I speculate that this change reflected the changed market for alkali: soda ash seems to have largely replaced potash in the glass industry, for example, at some point in the 1800s.

The change in definition is well described in the USGS Minerals Handbook

So I'm thinking the potash article needs to have some clear division, representing this change in the basic definition. Comments?EAS 03:26, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Ingesting potash[edit]

If one was to ingest potash on a regular basis, what would the effects be???

Upset stomach. :) (talk) 22:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC):
Probably less then that. Most of the time the same as if you ingested salt.


The article currently has considerable information about the manufacture of potash, but very little about its use. There are several references to its use in making glass and soap, but no details. Could someone please add a section indicating exactly how potash is used to make glass and soap? —Psychonaut 13:30, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Potash/Potassium etymology[edit]

Re: User:Daniel J. Leivick's edit that required [citation needed], with the Edit Summary: '(I always thought its name came from potasium, does any one have a source on the etymology)'... The Random House Compact Abridged dictionary gives "[1612-25, back formation from pl. pot-ashes, trans. of early D. potaschen. See POT, ASH]" The element potassium was named 1809/10 and took its name from potash. Edit reverted.PBarak (talk) 18:12, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


Is it me or does anyone else think that the history of postash in Canada and the US doesn't quite tell us the whole story?

Is there anyone from the rest of the world with the requisite knowledge that might help? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Through a few uncertain terms it implies that Patience lake was the first successful Potash mine. It wasn't. For that you'll have to look into K1 Mine, Esterhazy Saskatchewan, which was the first successful shaft sunk through the Blairmore layer in 1962, (~1300' under or so, the shaft bottoms out around 3300'). It also fails to mention Esterhazy K1 and K2 (joint mine) as the largest single mining operation of potash in the world, as well as the largest producer. Neither does it mention The Mosaic Company buying out IMC in recent years, owning Belle Plain (Patience Lake), Colonsey, Esterhazy, as well as Carlsbad.

More Information[edit]

It would be nice if it were somehow easy to find out that the potash mined in Saskatchewan is Potassium Chloride in the form of Sylvite precipitated from ... I had to do searches in the web to finally put all of that information together. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Martianalien (talkcontribs) 20:59, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

How's it pronounced? "Pot ash" or "Poe Tash"? This isn't a word that ever comes up in conversation, and it's pronunciation should be included. -- (talk) 19:16, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

"Pot ash" is the correct pronunciation, at least in the industry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:36, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Wrong picture?[edit]

That picture doesn't look like white powder... It might be mineral containing potash, but I think that picture is at least misleading. (talk) 05:34, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Mined KCl usually contains a small percentage of impurities, often iron oxides, that impart a red color to the material. Many users of potash fertilizer wouldn't guess that it is white in its pure form.PBarak (talk) 23:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

The following has been removed from the article because it looks suspiciously like copyright violation of [6]:

Encanto and First Nations are working together in a way where both benefit from equity involvement and cash flow from a successful potash mine on First Nations land. But the relationship also recognizes the spirit and intent of First Nations treaties. The two groups work with Canada’s Ministry of Indian Northern Affairs so all treaties are respected and followed. Encanto acts as an economic facilitator with both the First Nations and Canada to ensure that First Nations opportunities for business development and human resources are maximized every step of the way through resource development and mine building.

Encanto Potash’s business plan is to develop a significant potash resource in partnership with First Nations in the heart of “Potash Country” in Saskatchewan. Encanto is currently working with five First Nations Alliances on development agreements, including the Ochapowace, Chacachas, Day Star, Muscowpetung and Muskowekwan First Nations Alliances. The area is located within a radius of about 80 kilometers, and cover an aggregate area of over 187,000 acres (76,000 hectares) in South-Eastern Saskatchewan.[1]

The following has also been removed because it is a copyright violation of [7]:

Allana Resources is a Canadian potash company focusing on the exploration and development of a previously explored Dallol potash property in the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia. The Danakil depression had small-scale potash production in the 1920’s and was extensively explored in the 1960’s with nearly 300 potash drill holes. Allana controls potash concessions covering 150 km2 in the Danakil Depression. The property has an Inferred Mineral Resource of 105,200,000 tonnes with a composite grade of 20.8 % KCl.Allana Resources has three potash concessions (Dallol Potash Project) located in Ethiopia’s northeastern Danakil Depression totaling about 150 square kilometers. [2]

Tetracube (talk) 18:21, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Where does the term Potash come from?[edit]

The first section has the term 'potash' simultaneously attributed to a Dutch word 'potasch' (I've also seen 'potaschen') AND a combination of 'Pot' and 'Ash' for the old practice of manufacture. This can not be true, can it? The reference given (Canadian Encyclopedia) and many other online references are just as confusing. A USGS document I found has only the pot+ash derivation, for what it's worth. Can anyone remedy this? I speak no Dutch, but I can not decipher any reference to this on the Dutch Potash (, Potassium (, or Potassium Carbonate (, nor the Dutch Wiktionary entry for Potash ( Any thoughts?

Dutch wiki is not helpful in this case as it says potash originated from English and French words for element potassium (without reference). I would also not trust the internet encyclopedias as many randomly copy online information. USGS is a reliable source though. Materialscientist (talk) 23:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Storage under kerosine?[edit]


and so highly reactive that it must be stored under kerosene, as with metallic potassium.{cite web|url = [dead link]|chapter = Alkali Metals Sodium, Potassium, NaK, and Lithium|title = Primer on Spontaneous Heating and Pyrophoricity|author = U.S. Department of Energy|location = Washington, D.C. |date=December 1994}

as 1994 handbook cited does not say that. Hard to believe a lump product would be economically protected from atmospheric water that way, and the article potassium oxide says nothing about this. (talk) 06:18, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The pure element POTASSIUM must be stored in this way, because it and other elements such as lithium and sodium react violently with air, water, etc., to quickly form some other compound, and are kept in such liquids that they won't react with. Potash- a salt - does not. Mixing the two up. HammerFilmFan (talk) 22:16, 21 July 2013 (UTC)