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changeover to WP Elements[edit]

Article changed over to Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by User:maveric149. Elementbox converted 11:57, 1 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 23:29, 26 June 2005).


Can we have more information about what potassium is used for on its own, rather than just what it is useful for when combined with other elements please? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Information Sources[edit]

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Potassium. Additional text was taken directly from USGS Periodic Table - Potassium. Other information was obtained from the sources listed on the main page but was reformatted and converted into SI units.


Similar to other alkali metals potassium decomposes in water…'

This is hard to grok—exactly what does it mean for an element to decompose?
Herbee 23:44, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)

Water decomposes violently when an alkali metal is in it.

But water is not an "element", unless you are still living in the days of alchemy! It is the water that "decomposes" or breaks down into its constituent elements, not the Potassium, which forms a compound (not the same as "decomposing"). 03:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Yaelle Chovav Rosner said: ...regarding ‘self combustion' - it happened to people! It was reported on TV /a documentary 'Unsolved mysteries'...

I think/assume these people might have had too high levels of ALKALI METAL in their body. That substance reacted violently with the body cell/water to produce HYDROGEN then spontaneously caught fire (as it suppose to do around water/blood). Another hint that helped me 'solve' the mysterry: the salts emitted the purple color found on the bodies after the fire died.

Can anyone explain the cause of 'self combustion'?(remember, these people were heavy smokers)

Always chew your potassium thoroughly, and you won't have any (unforeseen) problems, especially if you wash it down with mineral oil. Unfree (talk) 20:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

ya-elle 23:44, 2005 Apr 1 (SD)

ya, they either fell asleep or died; there was a fire in a closed room which caused the combustion process to stop. Sorry, no aliens were involved. Scot.parker 13:43, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

It's astonishing how people toss around "self-"! I suppose the combustion combusts itself spontaneously. Unfree (talk) 20:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


Hyphens used as dashes have been turned into proper dashes. — Chameleon 16:12, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

First, American spelling is the standard on element articles. Second, by changing this article, you make it inconsistent with the other element articles.
Darrien 16:30, 2004 May 23 (UTC)
You want spelling consistent across series of articles, now, eh? Next you'll be extending this series to the whole of Wikipedia. The world and the Internet is Coca-Colonized enough as it is without your little crusade for Webster spellings. In any case, the Americanism I corrected en passant is not the issue. The issue is that there are all sorts of punctuation around Wikipedia, and I correct all pages I come across. You should too. If the other element pages are different, we need to change them too, but I haven't got time to do them all today.
The fact there is no dash key on common keyboards is no excuse for sloppy punctuation. Chameleon 16:56, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Are you trying to wind me up or something? You are a vandal undoing useful proofreading work. Chameleon 17:06, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

etymology of the name[edit]

Why is it called potassium in English when the Latin name is so different? --Joy [shallot] 01:33, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thanks to the anonymous user who filled in the blank there. --Joy [shallot]
Where exactly did Kalium come from, anyway? It's not a native Latin word (Classical Latin uses no k letter). It must have been either borrowed from Greek or named so in much later times. - 14:03, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I believe kalium comes from the Arabic al'Qali (also the origin of alkali). The Arabic word refers to the ashes of certain plants that were mostly potassium carbonate.
Agreed, it derives from an Arabic word, but there is actually one natively Latin word with k. It would also be interesting who dropped this mere incorrect statement here. 23:34, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

You cook your vittles in a 'pot' over an open fire. There is wood 'ash'. Hence the word(s) pot-ash from where potassium was first isolated. It is very common to have an English name and a Latin name when naming things in science (like flowers). In this case the English-derived word became the common-usage term but the Latin symbol, 'K' was retained. Kalium the is mediaval Latin word for pot-ash which may have come from Arabic as described above (qali -> kalium).

Isn't the English term pot-ash derived from the Dutch word pot aschen (modern Dutch: potas)? This can be confirmed plenty on the internet, but I don't have a more bookish source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Potassium in Diet[edit]

There was a recent change to the page indicating that bananas are actually low in Potassium. I can find no evidence to this, and much evidence to the contrary, including pages that claim to indicate the measured quantities of potassium in bananas. Should this be reverted?

Are there any risks in ingesting too much potassium? If so, how serious, and what levels constitute an unhealthy amount? Maybe answers could be useful to this part of the article. Peoplesunionpro 13:26, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

Ingesting potassium salts should be only somewhat more dangerous than eating sodium salts. For example, the LD50 for potassium chloride is measured in grams per kilogram body mass by this route, though it seems at least one person has been killed by ingesting just 20 mg/kg. [1] Potassium chloride is much more dangerous when injected (given intravenously, the LD50 is an order of magnitude lower), which makes it effective for lethal injection. There are, on the other hand, some circumstances by which dietary potassium could accumulate in the body (causing hyperkalemia), such as if one takes potassium-sparing diuretics.
I'm pretty sure one could technically chew and swallow pure potassium metal, but that would cause serious burns and hurt terribly. ᓛᖁ♀ 18:00, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Potassium is important for regulating the heartbeat (it may 'cure' heart palpatations, for example). Too much sodium will give you high blood pressure but too much potassium will stop your heart, the intravaneous lethal dose being less than the oral dose.

The section regarding dietary intake of K is confusing. Adequate intake is virtually guaranteed with a balanced diet, yet populations in the US Germany and Italy consume too little K? This should be clarified. Also, in what way does glucose cause hyperkalemia? I would assume through differential renal filtration and reabsorption of glu and K, but this section should be explained a little more thoroughly. (talk) 08:31, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Detonate on Opening?[edit]

What is this sillyness about "shock-sensitive peroxides"? Can i get a source on that, or is it vandalism?

Silly me, forgot to sign my post -qnaal 04:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh yeah, it's in the "Precautions" section, at the bottom. -qnaal 04:59, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
Here's a reference, which I got from google. I'm still looking for any reports of anybody actually injured by an explosion from opening an old container of peroxidized K metal. Is this a theoretical danger, or one that really has bitten real chemists?? If the latter, it ought to be more widely known! Here's the ref: [2] SBHarris 21:21, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
[3] (mostly german) covers some recent incidents. -ml 28 January 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
See the story about a bad mess at Trojancowboy (talk) 01:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Stupid Name[edit]

dont you think that potasium as name for a element with then signature Na is kinda stupid? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Yeah, especially since potassium's symbol is "K" rather than "Na". Perhaps you meant to post this on Talk:Sodium? Not that I would recommend it. Bryan 21:29, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Production of Metal[edit]

The article states that "thermal methods" are used to prepare potassium. Is this referring to the reduction of molten potassium chloride with sodium vapor? If so, it should be more specific.

Potassium burning in air or oxygen[edit]

When potassium burns in air the oxide and peroxide are formed. In pure oxygen the superoxide is formed.

Scot.parker 22:14, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


What is the source of Kazakstan being number one exporter of potassium87.66.104.83 13:24, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

XD, that was probably a joke. Seen Borat?
-- Mik 01:22, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


Can someone submit this for semi protection, I would love to, but I gotta go, and don't have tome t find the appropriate place and report it. Thanks, Omega ArchdoomTalk 15:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

grades of potassium[edit]

I've found agricultural grade, pharmaceutical grade - are there others? thnx (talk) 04:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

All chemicals can be purchased in a number of "grades" - indicating purity and form (powder, pellets), etc. Each individual supplier would potentially name the grades that they sell differently, so I don't think this is sufficiently factual or notable to form part of the article. -- MightyWarrior (talk) 11:51, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Agree. These things change from place to place and time to time, continuously. We don't want to keep track of it. SBHarris 01:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Possible vandalism?[edit]

Are tomatoes actually good sources of potassium or was this edit just vandalism? – FISDOF9 02:51, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they are. Unfree (talk) 20:40, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Melting Point of potassium[edit]

I think the page has a typo. Shouldn't it be 336.35 Kelvin instead of 336.53 Kelvin? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I found several sources that say it melts at 336.8K. I'll change the article and add a ref. J.delanoygabsadds 23:08, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind, just found one that says it's 336.53. J.delanoygabsadds 23:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe it doesn't really matter? I've found lots of different references each haivng a different value so maybe these represent a type of measurement uncertainty. However, none of the references are a report of an actual measurement of the melting temperature. Additionally, the references don't reference where they found the melting temperature. Ref: {Alfa Aesar catalog (2008-2009). p2126 Pure Elements: Potassium} says 63.3ºC = 336.45 Kelvin. Ref: {B. Shirinzadeh and C. C. Wang, Applied Optics 22, pg3265 (1983)} claims 336.35 Kelvin. I suggest rounding to the nearest 0.1ºC since that is likely the measurement uncertainty. Best Ref I've found: {Douglas, T. B.; Ball, A. F.; Ginnings, D. C. & Davis, W. D., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 74, 2472-2478 (1952).} They measure the melting point of potassium and quote 63.22ºC = 336.37 Kelvin. However, it is unlikely that their thermocouple (E-type) had an absoulute accuracy to better than 0.05ºC. So I still feel this number should be rounded to the nearest 0.1ºC to account for measurement uncertainties. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
The wikified reference for the triple point is Douglas, T.B.; Ball, A.F.; Ginnings, D.C.; Davis, W.D. (1952). "Heat Capacity of Potassium and Three Potassium—Sodium Alloys between 0° and 800°, the Triple Point and Heat of Fusion of Potassium1" (PDF). Journal of the American Chemical Society 74 (10): 2472–2478. Retrieved 2008-03-29.  but adding it to the page appears to mess up the table. Anyone know how to integrate into the table without causing an error? Also, the triple point should include atmospheric pressure I believe, and the reference above doesn't have a second page appended meaning I can see what their final kpa figure was. WLU (talk) 11:19, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
You can't have references inside of template definitions. This is a limitation of the wikimedia system. The choices are: a) make the triple point an argument of the potassium infobox template, b) use the generic element infobox template, or c) include the reference somewhere in the text of the article (that is outside of the template). Karl Hahn (T) (C) 16:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The pressure at the triple point is indirectly quoted in {B. Shirinzadeh and C. C. Wang, Applied Optics 22, pg3265 (1983)} and is a little below 1E-6 torr.

Sloppy terminology[edit]

I think this page is a bit sloppy in terms of the terminology used.

I think editors should think hard whether they are referring to the element which is extremely reactive and the ion of potassium which is found some soaps.

For example the current page states that potassium was know to the Romans. To me I read this to mean that the Romans had isolated the reactive metal. I presume that is not what is meant!

I suspect the above comment will be true of all metal articles -- Quantockgoblin (talk) 23:30, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

That's sloppy reasoning. Unfree (talk) 20:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Taste in Biochemical function[edit]

In the Biochemical function section of the document, it states 'Potassium may be detected by taste because it triggers three of the five types of tastebuds'... as far as I know (and the wiki article Taste bud seems to agree) this is now understood to be an inaccurate concept of how tastebuds work; there are four distinct types of buds, but the actual taste reception is not differentiated across the different types of tastebuds. This should maybe be cleaned up? -- Krinberry (talk) 16:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, as mentioned above, there is confusion between potassium and the potassium ion. Otherwise it is very easy to recognize potassium by taste because it nearly blows up when you put it on your tongue! (Don't try this at home...) --Itub (talk) 17:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it should say "taste sensations", not "taste buds." As for the "sloppiness" of saying "potassium" when "potassium ion" is meant, that's true across all of chemistry and biology, where the distinction is understood in context. Referring to an element also refers to its chemical forms. It's the "Nitrogen cycle" for example, not the "nitrogen compound cycle". It's also "nitrogen balance" in nutrition, not "nitrogen compound balance". When somebody says "this guy is iron-deficient" it's considered pedantic to the point of silliness to say "you mean iron compound deficient." Defaults in language go to common things. In Texas they have "tea" and "hot tea", the default going to cold. In the UK they have "tea" and "ice tea." In Colorado they have skiing and "water-skiing." But in Texas it's skiing and "snow-skiing." Get used to it. SBHarris 00:43, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Production Section Clarification[edit]

I haven't looked at any history, but I suspect that the following was either yanked from somewhere else out of context, or was a rather incomplete (and not-so-neat) attempt to add helpful info:

Pure potassium metal can be isolated by electrolysis of its hydroxide in a process that has changed little since Davy.[1] Thermal methods also are employed in potassium production, using potassium chloride Humphrey Davies extracted this metal in 1807 along with sodium.

Firstly, since "Davy" has not been discussed before, one wonders if it is a person, event, or tradition. You have to click on the link to find out who it is, so the text needs to have some context added.

Also, it's inconsistent, because the second sentence refers to the man as "Davies," and lacks a wiki link.

I like to help, but don't like to step on toes. Perhaps someone with more ownership of this article would like to help add more context and consistency here? Pammalamma (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 04:21, 22 September 2008 (UTC).

Humphrey Davy was famous, but it's an uncommon last name, and "Davies" is a common one. It's an understandable mistake, but the remaining information is interesting and good to know. Unfree (talk) 20:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Polar Bears[edit]

This seems like a bad place to ask this, and I'm sorry for that. But it's not addessed and I'd like to know.... the old schoolyard rumor about a polar bear liver having "enough potassium to kill you", is it true? Murdersaurusrex (talk) 17:10, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

The polar bear article says the liver is toxic because of high levels of vitamin A. ChemNerd (talk) 17:47, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be something wrong with the section on K40/Ar40 dating...the sentence looks incomplete, as if something were missing. I am not knowledgeably competent enough to correct it. Perhaps someone with more experience with this area could have a look.--Paraballo (talk) 01:38, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Well spotted. Please check that the repair is complete. Plantsurfer (talk) 10:25, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, looks complete now.--Paraballo (talk) 02:53, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

The Argon page says that synthetic Ar42 decays into K42, but this page makes no mention of K42. (talk) 18:46, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Under 'Most stable isotopes', the potassium infobox links to 'Main article', Isotopes of potassium, where K42 is to found. PBarak (talk) 19:34, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Root word of the atomic symbol[edit]

Does anyone have a root word that the atomic symbol "K" derived from? Please make sure that this is a trusted, and reliable source. The current article lists it as Kalium, but I believe it should be Koal. Honghu (talk) 23:14, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Webelements has it listed as kallium. So does my reference book which states "The element was earlier called Kalium, derived from the Arabic word qili, meaning grass wort, the ash of which was a source of potash. The element derived its symbol K from Kalium." Thricecube (talk) 02:56, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I was taught at school that it was from Kali, the Hindu goddess of war, (because of it's violent reaction in water). Is this wrong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nimicitor (talkcontribs) 15:54, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes. --Itub (talk) 15:01, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Missing thermodynamic data for Potassium article[edit]

This entry is missing important data (in the table on the right side), which is available for the other Alkali metal articles (Lithium, Sodium, Rubidium). Specifically, there is no value given for the Heat of fusion, Heat of vaporization, and Specific Heat Capacity. From searching other web sites I have seen the following values: Heat of Fusion = 2.33 kJ·mol−1 , Heat of vaporization = 76.9 kJ·mol−1 , Specific heat capacity = 757 J/(kg*K) (which can be converted to 29.60 J·mol−1·K−1 ). -- August 1st 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

The data were long available at Chemical elements data references but for unexplained reason were not added until now. Thank you. Materialscientist (talk) 05:16, 1 August 2009 (UTC

Battery electrolyte solution[edit]

A solution of KOH is often used in special purpose battery types as the interconnecting electrolyte solution between the negative and positive plate materials.WFPM (talk) 21:47, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

In the subways of New York, seawater is used for the electrolyte, and the electrodes, if I recall correctly, are of iron and copper. But the use of KOH in batteries probably isn't worth mentioning. All sorts of salts and acids can serve as electrolytes. Even the water isn't necessary. Unfree (talk) 01:46, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Disagree - what is evident for a specialist is not evident for a general reader - we've got to mention basic things, i.e. what is actually used as an electrolyte (KOH here or water there, for example). Another example, from another unrelated article, many people assume water as a solvent and just omit it - no, off course there are other solvents.

Potassium article appears locked.[edit]

What gives?? Potassium??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Weirdly enough the article has been subject to vandalism lately. Hence the semi-protected status. Eeekster (talk) 23:52, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

6.1 Biochemical function[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} The second sentence says: "This ion pump uses ATP to pump potassium out of the cell and natrium in to the cell, thus creating an electrochemical gradient over the cellmembrane." which is both incorrect and has grammar errors.

Replace with: "This ion pump uses ATP to pump 3 sodium ions out of the cell and 2 potassium ions into the cell, thus creating an electrochemical gradient over the cell membrane."

Yes check.svg Done --Rifleman 82 (talk) 05:12, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Why count ions without counting ATP molecules or discussing energy? Why repeat "the cell" and "ions"? Why "electrochemical gradient" rather than "voltage"? Why "over", rather than "across"? Why not "increasing", rather than "creating"? Unfree (talk) 21:15, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


Isn't it true that coffee is the main contributor of potassium in the diets of many people? True or not, shouldn't coffee be included among the foods rich in potassium? Unfree (talk) 20:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

This paper suggests that 1 liter of coffee has between 300 and 1100 mg of potassium. Tea and coffee as sources of some minerals in the New Zealand diet with a optimum intake of 4000mg/day you have to drink more than 2 liters of the most potent coffee. This makes it hard to believe that this is the main source for potassium for a large number of people.--Stone (talk) 20:19, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That all sounds quite plausible to me, except for the optimum intake, which seems a bit high, but is very much dependent on sodium intake (and loss). (Much sodium, and little potassium, are lost to perspiration.) The two must be considered together. Also, the potassium content of coffee is probably related more closely to the production and processing of the coffee than to its strength. It needn't be very "potent". (Roasting doesn't alter potassium content, but increases strength.) Consider, if you will, the other dietary sources of potassium, and how common it is for some people to avoid them. The best sources are fruit, followed by vegetables, both of which some people avoid like the plague. Consider also that two liters of coffee a day isn't unreasonable, by some standards. I figure I drink about a liter and a half. That's a significant supply of potassium, at least. In other words, from the same facts, I take the opposite conclusion! :) Unfree (talk) 21:42, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
From the abstract, op. cit.: "The results indicate that for New Zealand adults tea is a very good source of manganese and it also contains appreciable amounts of potassium. Coffee is a better source of potassium than tea...." I add the observation that New Zealanders drink a lot of tea. Elsewhere, many people drink a lot of coffee. Even in New Zealand, among coffee drinkers, the average consumption was around 0.7 liter, providing up to 0.9 grams per liter of potassium. "Appreciable" enough? Unfree (talk) 23:20, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The studie gives it with 400mg not 900mg because this is measured in a different country. The uptake is fore sure larger than 4000mg and than its 10% making it one source out of many.--Stone (talk) 23:36, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
When I studied nutrition in college (at the top of the class, despite frequently correcting the instructor!), the RDA for sodium was one gram a day, and it was 800mg for potassium. You can easily get it all from coffee, but that's not my point. My point is that coffee isn't even mentioned in the article, while foods utterly absent from many people's diets are. Some people eat at MacDonald's; what do they get their potassium from? The ketchup? Unfree (talk) 01:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
A Big Mac is 250 mg K or so. A shake has 500 mg. The french fries are the most suprising, as they retain the potassium of vegetables and even a medium-size order of fries has 600 mg. So that's 1350 mg in one meal. You can get by with this, albeit it's not great as there's a lot of sodium, too (more in the burger than the fries!). SBHarris 03:15, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

The body[edit]

Potassium is the main cation in intracellular fluid, as sodium is the main one in extracellular fluid. Potassium is what keeps cells properly inflated with fluid. This isn't stated clearly in the article. A difference between animal and plant cells is implied, but not elucidated. How potassium movement in plants is regulated isn't discussed. Under the heading, "Potassium cations in the body", one subheading is "Filtration and excretion", followed by an evidently medical, one-paragraph discussion, then a diagram, and then another paragraph that sticks out like a sore thumb. It starts out with "The potassium moves passively through pores in the cell wall." There are no cell walls in "the body"! Cell walls are characteristic of plants. Here's the whole paragraph, much of which, frankly, puzzles me, and I don't have access to the cited sources:

The potassium moves passively through pores in the cell wall. When ions move through pumps there is a gate in the pumps on either side of the cell wall and only one gate can be open at once. As a result, 100 ions are forced through per second. Pores have only one gate, and there only one kind of ion can stream through, at 10 million to 100 million ions per second.[19] The pores require calcium in order to open[20] although it is thought that the calcium works in reverse by blocking at least one of the pores.[21] Carbonyl groups inside the pore on the amino acids mimics the water hydration that takes place in water solution[22] by the nature of the electrostatic charges on four carbonyl groups inside the pore.[23]

The entire paragraph is useless without a comprehensible context, and has little, if anything, to do with "the body". I got the impression from the article that some plants, at least, lack ion pumps. This paragraph discusses "pumps", but apparently in contradistinction to "pores". "At least one of the pores" where? Perhaps, if I understood "the water hydration that takes place in water solution", it would help, not to mention "the nature of the electrostatic charges on four carbonyl groups inside the pore". Unfree (talk) 01:09, 12 December 2009 (UTC) Pottasium is a a element.:} —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 14 December 2009 (UTC) Just change it. You seem to know more than enough to make responsible changes. Dare to bold? Thx for improving.--SvenAERTS (talk) 00:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Meaning unclear[edit]

The section on optimal intake for humans is very confusing. Is it trying to say that, because everyone is consuming too little potassium, the recommended potassium intake must be incorrect? Or what?

Also, is 4,000 mg "high"? What is a high potassium intake?

At the very least, the second half of the paragraph needs to be rewritten to make clear that it is countering the first half. As it is now, it's very awkward.

Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 6 February 2010 (UTC)


Is that Potassium is both radioactive and stable? (talk) 09:34, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

History of the free element[edit]

I'd like to suggest a change of the first paragraph of section 2 (History of the free element) to:

Elemental potassium was not known in Roman times, and its names are not Classical Latin but rather neo-Latin. The name kalium was taken from the word "alkali", which came from Arabic al qalīy = "the calcined ashes". The name potassium comes from the word "potash", referring to the method by which it was obtained (leaching the ash of burnt wood or tree leaves and evaporating the solution in a pot). While potash has been used since ancient times, its chemical composition was not actually known until after the discovery of electrolysis.

The first sentence is unchanged, the next two are cleared up a bit, and the rest is omitted because it's inaccurate apart from stating why caustic potash is called as it is. The accurate description can already be found in the potassium hydroxide article. Electrolysis is not linked because it is already linked in the next section (i don't consider the one sentence that is labeled as section 3 as such). On this note, there's a link in the second paragraph of this same section to hydroxide by writing KOH linking only the OH to hydroxide, instead of linking the entire KOH to potassium hydroxide. This might be because potassium hydroxide is linked from further down the article (Section 9: Precautions), but if so then why is caustic potash currently linked from this same section (2), which is nothing more than a redirect to potassium hydroxide?

Thanks (talk) 12:12, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Changed, with a cleaned up code. Materialscientist (talk) 12:22, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

What is the density of potassium?[edit]

All of the sources I found (, Aldrich, shows a lower density (0.856 - 0.86 g/cm3) than what is stated on the main page (0.89 g/cm3). I wonder where 0.89 comes from? Could it be from a source that contains more K-41 isotope? Ctchou (talk) 15:01, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Probably an error. Almost all sources I see list standard density as 0.862 g/cm^3. I'll change it till we come up with something definitive. SBHarris 20:32, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Potassium Bitartrate[edit]

Noticed that the Food section does not mention potassium bitartrate (most people refer to it as "creme of tartar", but I prefer its chemical name) which is used in meringues, whipped creme, baking soda, and other foods/food-ingredients. Not sure if there was a reason to exclude it in the section, so I'm suggesting its inclusion here, instead. — al-Shimoni (talk) 08:08, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

B-Class review[edit]

  • chemistry section still needs some work --stone
  • biology relevance is shown in biology and applications section (should this be combined?) --stone
  • chemical compounds list in the applications section needs refs and a also a review which are really important --stone

--21:12, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

What about adding Compounds section? Is it necessary to make it B-class (I guess so not since cadmium passed recently, but I'm sure that the article should have it)? By the way, I believe Chemical section is OK now. Isn't it?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:31, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
The list on potassium .. is used for and potassium ... is used for .... is not very good in the applications section-.--Stone (talk) 21:35, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Rubidium has that and it's OK --Lanthanum-138 (talk) 14:25, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The article lacks a lot of relevant chemistry. --Stone (talk) 21:38, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Production
    • potassium fluoride and calcium carbide
    • electrolysis
    • potassium chloride and sodium equilibrium potassium and sodium chloride
all three process could be mentioned and described which one is the dominant one--Stone (talk) 21:13, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Applications of metallic potassium
    • Potassium peroxide production
    • Alkoxide and carboxylates
    • ...
are there others and what is the dominant use? --Stone (talk) 21:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Occurrence
    • The sea is salty (rich in sodium and poor in potassium) while the soil is rich in potassium and poor in sodium. Why does soil retain potassium? How does this work.--Stone (talk) 05:30, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Compounds
    • I know KMNO4 and K3FeCN6 but not the sodium compounds, why is this the case are they less stable or is the way they are produced specific for potassium or is it historic? The same with alum KAl(SO4)2.12H2O. --Stone (talk) 05:30, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Potassium/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: FREYWA 10:51, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello again, after a long time! This will follow the same structure as my earlier review on cadmium. FREYWA 10:51, 16 June 2011 (UTC)


GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    All remaining issues are minor enough to be insignificant. The article is therefore passed.


Don't leave problems here. Instead, put them in the Issues section below.

I think Stone and I addressed most of the issues below. Materialscientist (talk) 07:30, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Face-smile.svg Thank you Look at the rest of them. FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

All should mostly be fixed by now. Materialscientist (talk) 01:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


You are free to leave any issues you may find; this does not require permission.

Error: Potassium and Kidney stones 2012.04.14[edit]

This article says without citation that "Individuals suffering from kidney diseases may suffer adverse health effects from consuming large quantities of dietary potassium."

However the Wiki article says that potassium reduces the risk of forming kidney stones and cites a study (I read it, it really does say that multiple times). Could you please look into this? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 14 April 2012 (UTC)



The following phrases are unsourced.
  • Potassium therefore does not readily form compounds with the oxidation state of +2 (or higher). (Physical)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Potassium concentration in solution is commonly determined using flame photometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, inductively coupled plasma, or ion selective electrodes. (Physical) FREYWA 09:59, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Potassium metal is a powerful reducing agent which is easily oxidized to monopositive cation, K+. Once oxidized, it is very stable and hard to reduce back to neutral metal. (Compounds)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • All the prose from The last two species to and 1.21 kilogram of it can dissolve as much as a liter of water. (Compounds)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Outside of dating, potassium isotopes have been used as tracers in studies of weathering and for nutrient cycling studies because potassium is a macronutrient required for life. (Isotopes)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Because it cannot be cut off completely, death will result when the whole body potassium declines to the vicinity of one-half full capacity. (Filtration and excretion)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • All the prose from Typical medical supplemental doses to buildup of blood concentrations of potassium (hyperkalemia) may trigger fatal cardiac arrhythmia. (Medical supplementation and disease)
  • It is also used to bleach textiles and straw, and in the tanning of leathers. (Food)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Potassium fluorosilicate (K2SiF6) is used in specialized glasses, ceramics, and enamels. (Industrial) FREYWA 04:36, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)


  • The lead section does not make much mention of the precautions required for handling potassium. FREYWA 08:22, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
    Face-smile.svg Thank you Nah, never mind! FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)


Issues not subcategorised are in the lead section.
  • For this reason, historically their salts were not differentiated. Wrong place.
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • They were finally suspected to be different elements within their salts after 1702, and this was finally proven in 1807 when potassium and sodium were individually isolated from different salts by electrolysis. It is undesirable to have two occurences of the word in consecutive sentences.
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Potassium in nature occurs only as ionic salt. Should be in.
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Most industrial chemical applications of potassium employ the relatively high solubility in water of potassium compounds, for example, potassium soaps. Should be such as.
    Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Potassium ion is necessary for the function of all living cells. Potassium ion diffusion is a key mechanism in nerve transmission, and potassium depletion in animals, including humans, results in various neurological dysfunctions. Can be merged.
  • Properties
    • Physical
      • Because of the low first ionization energy (418.8 kJ/mol) potassium atom easily loses an electron and oxidizes into a monopositive cation, K+. No indefinite article.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • The second ionization energy, however, is very high (3052 kJ/mol), because removal of two electrons breaks the stable noble gas electronic configuration. A better sentence would contrast more strongly with the one preceding it.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • In a flame test, potassium and its compounds emit a lilac color with a peak emission wavelength of 766.5 nm (see movie below),[6].[5] Punctuation mash-up and reference errors.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Chemical
      • It can react with salts of most metals to substitute them, but because of the sensitivity of potassium to water and air, the reaction are possible only at inert atmosphere, such as argon gas, and thus are rarely used. Wrong tense and swapped words (replace bolded text with reactions, only possible in an and are thus respectively).
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • However, potassium does not react with many hydrocarbons, such as mineral oil or kerosene. Redundant word.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • The reaction of potassium with water is dangerous because of its violent and sufficient exothermic character, and hydrogen gas release. Should be release of hydrogen gas.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • The potassium ion is colorless in water and is very hard to be precipitated; possible precipitation methods, useful for gravimetric analysis, include reactions with sodium tetraphenylborate, hexachloroplatinic acid, and sodium cobaltinitrite. Incorrect tense.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Compounds
      • The only common oxidation state for potassium is +1; even though oxidation state −1 is known in alkalide ion, it is extremely rare and has only theoretical interest. No need to mention in the sentence's context.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Potassium metal is a powerful reducing agent which is easily oxidized to monopositive cation, K+. Again, no indefinite article.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
      • This compound is a very strong alkali with a high thermal stability, and 1.21 kilogram of it can dissolve as much as a liter of water. Is it singular or not?
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Isotopes
      • It decays to stable 40Ar (11.2% of decays) by electron capture or positron emission; the remaining 88.8% decays to stable 40Ca by beta decay. The brackets can be pulled out.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Creation and occurrence
      • The deposits of niter (potassium nitrate) formed by decomposition of organic material in contact with atmosphere, mostly in caves. Because of the good water solubility of niter the formation of larger deposits requires special environmental conditions. These two sentences can be merged. The first the should be removed per the previous sentence (which also begins with the). Formed should have are before it. FREYWA 08:09, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 19:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
At the time of Materialsceintist's first comment, the issues below had not been put up.

  • Commercial production
    • The largest deposits ever found lie thousand meter (three thousand feet) below the surface of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Numbers?
      Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Although the electrolysis process was developed and used in industrial scale in the 1920 the thermal method by reacting sodium with potassium chloride in a chemical equilibrium reaction became the dominant method in the 1950s. Huh?
      Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • For some time the Griesheimer process employing the reaction of potassium fluoride with calcium carbide was also used . Spacing!
      Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Reagent-grade potassium metal cost about $10.00/pound ($22/kg) in 2010 when purchased in tonne quantities. Incorrect tense.
      Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Biological role
    • Filtration and excretion
      • Carbonyl groups inside the pore on the amino acids mimics the water hydration that takes place in water solution by the nature of the electrostatic charges on four carbonyl groups inside the pore. Subject-verb agreement?
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • In diet
      • Optimal intake
        • Italian researchers reported in a 2011 meta-analysis that a 1.64 - gram higher daily intake of potassium was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke. Abbreviations would be better here!
          Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Applications
    • Fertiliser
      • Potassium content of most plants typically ranges from 0.5 to 2% of the harvested weight of crops, expressed as (K2O), which is the conventional way fertilizer analysis is shown, in the order N, P, K. No indefinite article, redundant brackets, wrong number.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Industrial
      • It is also used to saponify fats and oils, in industrial cleaners, and in hydrolysis reactions, for example of esters. I don't get it.
        It is used to saponify .., in cleaners, and in reactions .., for example, in reactions involving esters. Materialscientist (talk) 01:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
        Fix it! FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Potassium nitrate (KNO3) or saltpeter is obtained from natural sources such as guano and evaporites or manufactured by the Haber process; it is the oxidant in gunpowder (black powder) and an important agricultural fertilizer. I read this word, doesn't immediately click. Should be saltpetre by international standards.
        Both writing styles are possible, the used one is AE.--Stone (talk) 21:22, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Potassium carbonate (K2CO3 or potash) is a mild desiccant, it is also used in the manufacture of glass, soap, color TV tubes, fluorescent lamps, textile dyes and pigments. Should be which. Remove the comma behind it.
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) is an oxidizing, bleaching and purification substance and is used in for production of saccharin. Remove!
        Face-smile.svg Thank you FREYWA 06:45, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

"If potassium were removed from the diet, there would remain a minimum obligatory kidney excretion of about 200 mg per day when the serum declines to 3.0–3.5 mmol/L in about one week,[65] and can never be cut off completely, resulting in hypokalemia and even death.[66]" -incomprehensible — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Is the Biological Role section over large?[edit]

Just a brief check shows that the Biological Role section is just as big or bigger than the Main Article in Potassium in biology, and much larger than several of the other sections in the article about the element. Would it improve the article about the element, to crop the Biological Role section down to a more abbreviated section and use the excess material to improve Potassium in biology?

There is also the question of the Reference ranges for blood tests, graph, of which only a very tiny portion that is relevant, and to make use of users need to downloaded the entire chart and search it, just to find potassium. --Gregory JH (talk) 23:56, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I too would remove the Reference ranges for blood tests graph, as I agree it clutters up the article way too much, for the little info it adds. Also agree that it's silly to have the potassium in biology article smaller than the section here (at least over the long haul), but on the other hand, if there were an element that deserves to have a larger % biology section than any other, potassium would be the one element. Potassium is THE element that is used mostly in biological apps, like no other. As you see, 95% of world potassium salt production is for use as fertilizer, a directly biological application. There is no other element that comes CLOSE to having its world production of compounds used mostly in the biological sciences. Certainly not carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, etc. Really, nothing else come even approximately close, so we're in a unique situation here. The problem is in balancing the fact that only the potassium article is the place for information about the metal, while at the same time the fact that the metal is almost useless, and 99.9+ % potassium work uses salts, and most of them as potash in biological uses. Really, it's quite a unique situation as far as these articles go. SBHarris 00:07, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Many people could make the valid argument that sodium is just as important or even more important when it comes to biology, but if Sodium is checked ( more specifically, the Biological role of sodium is checked ), folks would find that the section is half the size of the Biological role of potassium.
Could the following portions of Biological role of potassium be cropped and moved to Potassium in biology without harm?
This ion pump uses ATP to pump three sodium ions out of the cell and two potassium ions into the cell, thus creating an electrochemical gradient over the cell membrane. In addition, the highly selective potassium ion channels (which are tetramers) are crucial for the hyperpolarization, in for example neurons, after an action potential is fired. The most recently resolved potassium ion channel is KirBac3.1, which gives a total of five potassium ion channels (KcsA, KirBac1.1, KirBac3.1, KvAP, and MthK) with a determined structure.[53] All five are from prokaryotic species.
Sodium pumps in the kidneys must always operate to conserve sodium. Potassium must sometimes be conserved also, but as the amount of potassium in the blood plasma is very small and the pool of potassium in the cells is about thirty times as large, the situation is not so critical for potassium. Since potassium is moved passively[61][62] in counter flow to sodium in response to an apparent (but not actual) Donnan equilibrium,[63] the urine can never sink below the concentration of potassium in serum except sometimes by actively excreting water at the end of the processing. Potassium is secreted twice and reabsorbed three times before the urine reaches the collecting tubules.[64] At that point, it usually has about the same potassium concentration as plasma. At the end of the processing, potassium is secreted one more time if the serum levels are too high.
If potassium were removed from the diet, there would remain a minimum obligatory kidney excretion of about 200 mg per day when the serum declines to 3.0–3.5 mEq/L in about one week,[65] and can never be cut off completely, resulting in hypokalemia and even death.[66]
The potassium moves passively through pores in the cell membrane. When ions move through pumps there is a gate in the pumps on either side of the cell membrane and only one gate can be open at once. As a result, approximately 100 ions are forced through per second. Pores have only one gate, and there only one kind of ion can stream through, at 10 million to 100 million ions per second.[67] The pores require calcium in order to open[68] although it is thought that the calcium works in reverse by blocking at least one of the pores.[69] Carbonyl groups inside the pore on the amino acids mimic the water hydration that takes place in water solution[70] by the nature of the electrostatic charges on four carbonyl groups inside the pore.[71]

These portions appear to be more "in depth" than many other basic overviews, and for this reason I submit that they would probably be better, trimmed and included in Potassium in biology - either in the main article or as portions of subsections.--Gregory JH (talk) 01:36, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Agree with all your suggested moves above, and will leave it to you to make them. Not to detract from this (for these really are too specialized) even sodium isn't as "biological" an element as potassium. All life needs potassium, while some plants don't need sodium at all (we animals with brains and nerves are "sodium chauvanists"). Sodium metal has more uses than potassium, and generally in chemistry, sodium in used instead of potassium in all cases where chemists can get away with it (which is most of them). Finally, world production of sodium salts is mostly for NON-biological uses: basic manufacturing of glass, textiles, paper-- anywhere you need an ionic chemical and thus a cation (like soda and lye). All this is not true of potassium salts, which in chemistry are very much specialty items, where the solubility of sodium, though good, isn't enough. Yes, the commercial non-bio chem industry section in sodium needs a lot of work and expansion. There is a lot of " bio animal chauvanism" again, since food use accounts for only 18% of even the most widely biologically used sodium salt: NaCl. The rest is used for making industrial chemicals. Not so for potassium salts. To put it another way, we eat about 30 million tons of NaCl a year and produce about that same amount of potassium fertilizer. But the rest of the sodium compound production, which never goes to biology, is 7 times that, while essentially all the world potassium salts (95%) goes to feed plants. SBHarris 01:56, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Growing pains[edit]

anybody any info if they are influenced by K ? thx--SvenAERTS (talk) 00:08, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't you guys say how many protons potassium has? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The article starts: "Potassium ( /pɵˈtæsiəm/ po-tas-ee-əm) is the chemical element with the symbol K (from Neo-Latin kalium) and atomic number 19." So please look up the linked atomic number (hint: it's the number of protons). It is so fundamental that we don't bother to explain it here. The reader is expected to know it. SBHarris 02:59, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Opening Sentence for History[edit]

Neither elemental potassium nor potassium salts (as separate entities from other salts) were known in Roman times, and the Latin name of the element is not Classical Latin but rather neo-Latin. The Latin name kalium was taken from the word "alkali", which in turn came from Arabic: القَلْيَه‎ al-qalyah "plant ashes." The similar-sounding English term alkali is from this same root (potassium in Modern Standard Arabic is بوتاسيوم būtāsyūm).

This as the lead sentence to the History section is odd and out of place. Why is it important that Potassium was not known in Roman times? It appears that there used to be a preceding sentence that this referred to or this sentence used to be larger and has been truncated through edit. For that matter why is it remotely noteworthy that the Latin name is neo-Latin rather than Classical Latin - does this pass the "so what" question? This sentence could very easily rewritten as "Neither elemental potassium nor potassium salts (as separate entities from other salts) were known in Paleo-Lithic times, and the Latin name of the element is not Classical Latin but rather Esparanto." and it would have just as much meaning. In addition the second two sentences are about naming conventions which are only tangentially about "History" and in reality belongs on the Wiki page for "alkali" rather than here.

I suggest that the entire paragraph be either completely deleted or be rewritten to be germaine to the subject matter and moved so that it isn't the lead of the section. Comments? Ckruschke (talk) 13:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

Please link to articles in wikipedia[edit]

sulfur and chlorine, calcium and phosphorus in

Biochemical function

.....The action of the sodium-potassium pump is an example of primary active transport. The two carrier proteins on the left are using ATP to move sodium out of the cell against the concentration gradient. The proteins on the right are using secondary active transport to move potassium into the cell. Potassium is the eighth or ninth most common element by mass (0.2%) in the human body, so that a 60 kg adult contains a total of about 120 g of potassium.[50] The body has about as much potassium as sulfur and chlorine, and only the major minerals calcium and phosphorus are more abundant........ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Add a section "quality of potassium"[edit]

It's a well known fact that the worlds number one exporter of potassium, Kazakhstan, has the best potassium and that all other countries have inferior potassium, but the article should have some kind of a quality chart for this and possibly an explanation of some of the ways in which the Kazakh potassium is better. GMRE (talk) 20:20, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

This is surely a joke request, right? No, as you can tell from the article, many countries have rich potassium resources, and many extract them, but apparently Kazakhstan is not notable enough as a potassium producer. They do produce a lot of other metals though: our article on the mineral industry of Kazakhstan states that they are the world's largest producers of uranium, and also that some other metals they produce in quantity are Be, Bi, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mg, Re, Fe, Ti, Zn, Cr, Mn, Al, As, Ba, Au, Mo, and W. Not K though, unfortunately. Double sharp (talk) 03:20, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Physical - edit needed.[edit]

Most of the subsection Physical is about the element's CHEMICAL reactions. According to the Elements template, this is WRONG; this information belongs in Chemical sub-section. In addition some of the explanations are simple nonsense. The fact that K has one more electron than Ar is true, but (as ANYONE with the slightest familiarity with the transition elements knows) it DOES NOT FOLLOW that therefore it is "more likely" to lose an electron than gain one. The probability of it gaining or losing an electron depends on the RELATIVE energy differences between those two processes. This part of the article confuses facts with causes. I also was surprised not to see prominent mention of the element's radioactivity in the lede. I will check to see if mention is made of the role K's radioactivity has in the geology of the Earth (it is a major contributor to the Earth's heat output). I will also try to find information about the cosmological (?) sources of K-40. It isn't mentioned. I also note that I have first-hand experience with concrete bricks and bananas and they both show high Geiger counter counts, it doesn't require a "large bag of rice". Does this article really still qualify for GA status?Abitslow (talk) 15:36, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I have moved that to the "chemical" section. Though the fact that K has one more electron than Ar DOES IMPLY (following your capitalization) that it is more likely to lose an electron than gain one, because (as the article states) Ar's noble gas electron configuration is extremely stable.
I guess the article's main authors' thought process was that that's more relevant to 40K alone than to K in general. Still, it is an integral part of K, and your additions are good. (Though wouldn't mind a few more reliable sources.) Double sharp (talk) 10:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Hypokalemia "rare in healthy individuals"?[edit]

You've GOT to be kidding me. That's an absolutely redundant sentence and needs to be removed. As a nurse for 24+ years I can tell you with some assurance that anyone hypokalemic is UNhealthy. Period. Sentence removed. MagnoliaSouth (talk) 17:45, 26 September 2014 (UTC)