Potassium salt, E261
3D model (JSmol)
|E number||E261 (preservatives)|
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||98.142 g·mol−1|
|Appearance||White deliquescent crystalline powder|
|Density||1.8 g/cm3 (20 °C)|
1.57 g/cm3 (25 °C)
|Melting point||292 °C (558 °F; 565 K)|
|216.7 g/100 mL (0.1 °C)|
233.8 g/100 mL (10 °C)
268.6 g/100 mL (25 °C)
320.8 g/100 mL (40 °C)
390.7 g/100 mL (96 °C)
|Solubility||Soluble in alcohol, liquid ammonia|
Insoluble in ether, acetone
|Solubility in methanol||24.24 g/100 g (15 °C)|
53.54 g/100 g (73.4 °C)
|Solubility in ethanol||16.3 g/100 g|
|Solubility in sulfur dioxide||0.06 g/kg (0 °C)|
Heat capacity (C)
Std enthalpy of
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|3250 mg/kg (oral, rat)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
- CH3COOH + KOH → CH3COOK + H2O
This sort of reaction is known as an acid-base neutralization reaction.
The sesquihydrate in water solution (CH3COOK·1½H2O) begins to form semihydrate at 41.3 °C.
Potassium acetate can be used as a deicer to remove ice and prevent its formation. It is a substitute for chloride salts such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride in deicing applications. It offers the advantage of being less aggressive on soils and much less corrosive, and for this reason is preferred for airport runways. It is, however, more expensive.
Potassium acetate is used as a food additive as a preservative and acidity regulator. In the European Union, it is labeled by the E number E261; it is also approved for usage in the USA and Australia and New Zealand. Potassium hydrogen diacetate (CAS #4251-29-0 ) with formula KH(OOCCH3)2 is a related food additive with the same E number as potassium acetate.
Medicine and biochemistry
In medicine, potassium acetate is used as part of replacement protocols in the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis because of its ability to break down into bicarbonate and help neutralize the acidotic state.
In molecular biology, potassium acetate is used to precipitate dodecyl sulfate (DS) and DS-bound proteins, allowing the removal of proteins from DNA. It is also used as a salt for the ethanol precipitation of DNA.
Potassium acetate is used in mixtures applied for tissue preservation, fixation, and mummification. Most museums today use the formaldehyde-based method recommended by Kaiserling in 1897 which contains potassium acetate. For example, Lenin's mummy was soaked in a bath containing potassium acetate.
Potassium acetate was incorrectly used in place of potassium chloride when putting a prisoner to death in Oklahoma in January 2015. In August 2017, the U.S. state of Florida executed Mark James Asay using a combination of etomidate, rocuronium bromide, and potassium acetate.
Potassium acetate was originally used in the preparation of Cadet's fuming liquid, the first organometallic compound produced. It is used as diuretic and urinary alkaliser, and acts by changing the physical properties of the body fluids and by functioning as an alkali after absorption.
- Seidell, Atherton; Linke, William F. (1952). Solubilities of Inorganic and Organic Compounds. Van Nostrand.
- Acetic acid, potassium salt in Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD), http://webbook.nist.gov (retrieved 2014-05-18)
- UK Food Standards Agency: "Current EU approved additives and their E Numbers". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- US Food and Drug Administration: "Listing of Food Additives Status Part II". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code"Standard 1.2.4 - Labelling of ingredients". Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- Dale Ulmer (1994). "Fixation. The Key to Good Tissue Preservation" (PDF). Journal of the International Society for Plastination. 8 (1): 7–10.
- Andrew Nagorski (2007). The Greatest Battle. Simon and Schuster. p. 53.
- "Oklahoma used wrong drug in Charles Warner's execution, autopsy report says".
- Jason Dearon. "Florida executes convicted killer Mark Asay using new drug". Sun Sentinel.
- Hosea Cheung, Robin S. Tanke, G. Paul Torrence "Acetic Acid" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a01_045.
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Acetyl halides and salts of the acetate ion