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Potassium nitrate(CAS No. 7757-79-1)

Potassium nitrate KNO3 (cas 7757-79-1) Molecular Structure

7757-79-1 Structure

Identification and Related Records

Potassium nitrate
【CAS Registry number】
Potassium nitrate (99.999%-K) PURATREM
Potassium ion chromatography standard solution Fluka
Nitrate Ion standard solution Fluka
Nitrate solution
Filling solution for salt bridges and double-junction electrodes
Filling solution for chloride combination electrode (10% KNO3, trace AgCl, KCl)
Filling solution for fluoride electrode (17% KNO3, 5% KCl, trace NaCl, AgCl)
Filling solution for cyanide or sulfide electrode (10% KNO3, trace AgCl, KCl)
【Molecular Formula】
KNO3 (Products with the same molecular formula)
【Molecular Weight】
【Canonical SMILES】
【MOL File】

Chemical and Physical Properties

colourless crystals or white powder
【Melting Point】
【Boiling Point】
【Flash Point】
320 g/L (20℃)
320 g/L (20 oC)
Colorless, rhombic or trigonal crystals
White granular or crystalline powder
Stable. Strong oxidizer - contact with combustible material may cause fire. Incompatible with combustible materials, strong reducing agents.
【Storage temp】
Store at RT.
【Spectral properties】
Index of refraction: 1.335 (Alpha), 1.5056 (Beta), 1.5064 (Gamma)
【Computed Properties】
Molecular Weight:101.1032 [g/mol]
Molecular Formula:KNO3
H-Bond Donor:0
H-Bond Acceptor:3
Rotatable Bond Count:0
Exact Mass:100.951525
MonoIsotopic Mass:100.951525
Topological Polar Surface Area:62.9
Heavy Atom Count:5
Formal Charge:0
Isotope Atom Count:0
Defined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Defined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Covalently-Bonded Unit Count:2

Safety and Handling

【Hazard Codes】
【Risk Statements】
【Safety Statements 】

Hazard Codes of Potassium nitrate (cas no.7757-79-1): OxidizingO,IrritantXi,Xn
Risk Statements: 8-36/37/38-22 
R8: Contact with combustible material may cause fire. 
R36/37/38: Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin. 
R22: Harmful if swallowed.
Safety Statements: 26-17-36-7-24/25 
S26: In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. 
S17: Keep away from combustible material. 
S36: Wear suitable protective clothing. 
S7: Keep container tightly closed. 
S24/25: Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
RIDADR: UN 3264 8/PG 3
WGK Germany: 1
RTECS: TT3700000
HazardClass: 5.1
PackingGroup: III

【PackingGroup 】
【Skin, Eye, and Respiratory Irritations】
... /Potassium nitrate/ is irritating to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.
【Cleanup Methods】
Sweep spilled substance into plastic or glass containers. Wash away remainder with plenty of water.
UN 3264 8/PG 3
【Fire Fighting Procedures】
If material on fire or involved in fire: Flood with water. Cool all affected containers with flooding quantities of water. Apply water from as far a distance as possible.
If fire becomes uncontrollable--consider evacuation of one-half (1/2) mile radius.
【Fire Potential】
Not combustible but enhances combustion of other substances ... Risk of fire and explosion on contact with reducing agents.
Dangerous fire ... risk when shocked or heated ...
Ready-to-use cartridge formulated with sulfur and carbon; designed to be ignited and placed in pest burrow.
Grade: commercial; CP; FCC.
/Available as/ ACS grade; purified grades; standard, prill, crystalline grades
Hitec /heat-transfer salt mfr by Dupont/ is an eutectic mixture of water-sol inorg salts: potassium nitrate (53%), sodium nitrite (40%), and sodium nitrate (7%).
Chile saltpeter is sodium nitrate containing some potassium nitrate and sodium iodate.
Nitrate of Potash ... is chiefly the potassium salt of nitric acid. It shall contain not less than 12% nitrate nitrogen & 44% sol potash (K2O).
Pure potassium nitrate contains 13.68% nitrogen & 46.58% potash. Domestic product... available in ... prilled or std crystalline form...Analysis: Nitrogen 13.91%; Potash 44.13%; Chlorine 0.18%; Acid insol. 0.10%; & Moisture 0.08%.
【DOT Emergency Guidelines】
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Fire or Explosion: These substances will accelerate burning when involved in a fire. Some may decompose explosively when heated or involved in a fire. May explode from heat or contamination. Some will react explosively with hydrocarbons (fuels). May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.). Containers may explode when heated. Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Health: Inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Public Safety: CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number ... . As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids. Keep unauthorized personnel away. Stay upwind. Keep out of low areas. Ventilate closed spaces before entering.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Protective Clothing: Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection. Structural firefighters' protective clothing will only provide limited protection.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Evacuation: Large spill: Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 100 meters (330 feet). Fire: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Fire: Small fires: Use water. Do not use dry chemicals or foams. CO2, or Halon may provide limited control. Large fires: Flood fire area with water from a distance. Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk. Do not move cargo or vehicle if cargo has been exposed to heat. Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Spill or Leak: Keep combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away from spilled material. Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Do not get water inside containers. Small dry spills: With clean shovel place material into clean, dry container and cover loosely; move containers from spill area. Small liquid spills: Use a non-combustible material like vermiculite or sand to soak up the product and place into a container for later disposal. Large spills: Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal. Following product recovery, flush area with water.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ First Aid: Move victim to fresh air. Call 911 or emergency medical service. Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes. Contaminated clothing may be a fire risk when dry. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. Keep victim warm and quiet. Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
【Exposure Standards and Regulations】
Drug products containing certain active ingredients offered over-the-counter (OTC) for certain uses. A number of active ingredients have been present in OTC drug products for various uses, as described below. However, based on evidence currently available, there are inadequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of these ingredients for the specified uses: potassium nitrate is included in orally administered menstrual drug products.
【Reactivities and Incompatibilities】
A micro Parr calorimeter exploded when the wrong proportions of these ingredients were used. The intended mixture was 4.0 g sodium peroxide, 0.2 g dextrose, and 0.2 g potassium nitrate; actual proportions were 0.35 g, 2.59 g, and 0.2 g respectively. There was insufficient sodium peroxide to dissolve decomposition gases, hence a rapid temp and pressure build-up caused the Parr bomv to burst.
... A mixture of potassium nitrate and sodium hypophosphite constitutes a powerful explosive.
A mixture of arsenic and potassium nitrate explodes when ignited.
A batch of 3,257 g of boron, 9362 g of potassium nitrate, 989 g of laminac, and 500 g of trichloroethylene had been mixing for 5 min, when an explosion occurred.
Powdered zinc and potassium nitrate explode if heated.
A mixture of potassium nitrate ... and calcium silicide (60:40) is a readily ignited primer which burns at a very high temp. It is capable of initiating many high-temp reactions ...
When chlorinated phenols are heated for analytical purposes with calcium hydroxide-potassium nitrate mixtures, chlorinated benzodioxins analogous to the extremely toxic tetrachlorodibenzodioxin may be formed.
The /chromium/ nitride deflagrates with the molten /potassium/ nitrate.
... Mixtures of white phosphorus and potassium nitrate explode on percussion, and a mixture with red phosphorus reacts vigorously on heating.
Mixtures of potassium nitrate with sodium phosphinate and sodium thiosulfate are explosive, the former being rather powerful.
When organic matter is destroyed for residue analysis by heating with equimolar potassium nitrate-sodium nitrate mixture to 390 deg C, a 20-fold excess of nitrate must be used. If over 10% of organic matter is present, pyrotechnic reaction occur which could be explosive ...
A pyrotechnic mixture of aluminium powder with potassium perchlorate, barium nitrate, potassium nitrate and water exploded after 24 hr storage under water. Tests revealed the exothermic interaction of finely divided aluminium with nitrate and water to produce ammonia and aluminium hydroxide. Under the conditions prevailing in the stored mixture, the reaction would be expected to accelerate, finally involving the perchlorate as oxidant and causing ignition of the mixture.
Aluminium powder, barium nitrate, potassium nitrate, sulfur and vegetable adhesives, mixed to a paste with water, exploded on 2 occasions. Lab investigation showed initial interaction of water and aluminium to produce hydrogen. It was supposed that nascent hydrogen reduced the nitrates present, increasing the alkalinity and thence the rate of attack on aluminium, the reaction becoming self-accelerating. Cause of ignition was unknown ...
Heating the bis(trichloromethyl)benzene with potassium nitrate ... to effect conversion to the bis(acyl chloride) led to eruptions at higher temp, and was too dangerous to pursue.
Thermal reaction hazards of potassium nitrate-cellulose mixtures were evaluated ... stoichiometric mixture (zero oxygen balance) showed the lowest ignition temp.
Explosion hazards of mixtures of lactose monohydrate with ... potassium nitrate ... are assessed.
Mixtures of potassium nitrate and powdered titanium, antimony or germanium explode on heating, and with zirconium at the fusion temp of the mixture.
Mixtures of potassium nitrate with antimony trisulfide, barium sulfide, calcium sulfide, germanium monosulfide or titanium disulfide all explode on heating. The mixture with arsenic disulfide is detonable, and addition of sulfur gives a pyrotechnic composition. Mixtures with molybdenum disulfide are also detonable. Interaction with sulfides in molten mixtures is violent.
Boron phosphide ignites in molten nitrates; mixtures of the nitrate with copper(II) phosphide explode on heating, and that with copper monophosphide explodes on impact.
A pyrotechnic blend of a finely divided mixture /of potassium nitrate/ with boron ignited and exploded when the aluminium container was dropped; (the aluminium container also may have been involved). Boron is not attacked at below 400 deg C, but is at fusion temp or at lower temp if decomposition products (nitrites) are present. The mixture has also been evaluated as a propellant.
... Contact of powdered carbon with the /potassium/ nitrate at 290 deg C causes vigorous combustion and a mixture explodes on heating. Gunpowder is the oldest known explosive and contains potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur, the latter to reduce ignition temp and to increase the speed of combustion ...
Potassium nitrate in cloth sacks stowed next to baled peat moss became involved in a ship fire and caused rapid flame spread and explosions. Heat transfer salt from a new supplier was added to a pilot plant reactor salt bath. Some 12 hr after start of heating to melt the bath contents a muffled explosion occurred, attributed to presence of organic impurities in the new salt.
... Contact of the /thorium/ dicarbide with molten ... potassium nitrate ... causes incandescence.
Fluorine attacks potassium nitrate to give fluorine nitrate.
A mixture of ... /potassium nitrate and sodium acetate/ may cause an explosion.
A mixture of ... /sulfur, potassium nitrate and arsenic trisulfide/ is a known pyrotechnic formulation.
【Other Preventative Measures】
SRP: The scientific literature for the use of contact lenses in industry is conflicting. The benefit or detrimental effects of wearing contact lenses depend not only upon the substance, but also on factors including the form of the substance, characteristics and duration of the exposure, the uses of other eye protection equipment, and the hygiene of the lenses. However, there may be individual substances whose irritating or corrosive properties are such that the wearing of contact lenses would be harmful to the eye. In those specific cases, contact lenses should not be worn. In any event, the usual eye protection equipment should be worn even when contact lenses are in place.
SRP: Local exhaust ventilation should be applied wherever there is an incidence of point source emissions or dispersion of regulated contaminants in the work area. Ventilation control of the contaminant as close to its point of generation is both the most economical and safest method to minimize personnel exposure to airborne contaminants.
If material not on fire and not involved in fire: Keep sparks, flames, and other sources of ignition away. Keep material out of water sources and sewers.
Personnel protection: Do not handle broken packages unless wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Wash away any material which may have contacted the body with copious amounts of water or soap and water. Approach fire with caution.
NO contact with combustibles or reducing agents ... PREVENT DISPERSION OF DUST ... Local exhaust or breathing protection ... Do not eat, drink, or smoke during work. Wash hands before eating ... Rinse contaminated clothes (fire hazard) with plenty of water. Specific treatment is necessary in case of poisoning with this substance; the appropriate means with instructions must be available.
Approximately 14 million households in the United States use private wells to supply their drinking water (Bureau of the Census 1993). In agricultural areas, nitrogen-based fertilizers are a major source of contamination for shallow groundwater aquifers that provide drinking water. A recent United States Geological Survey study showed that >8,200 wells nationwide were contaminated with nitrate levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standard of 10 parts per million (ppm). ... Because of the risks for potential adverse health effects, persons who use drinking water that contains nitrate levels >10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) should have alternative sources of water or appropriate treatment of existing supplies. Information regarding testing of well water can be obtained from city or county health departments. Other sources of nitrate contamination are organic animal wastes and contamination from septic sewer systems, especially in wells
【Protective Equipment and Clothing】
... /Potassium nitrate/ is irritating to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.

Handling and Storage 
Handling: Avoid breathing dust, vapor, mist, or gas. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Avoid ingestion and inhalation. 
Storage: Do not store near combustible materials. Store in a cool, dry place. Store in a tightly closed container.


 Potassium nitrate (cas no.7757-79-1) is reported in EPA TSCA Inventory.

【Disposal Methods】
SRP: The most favorable course of action is to use an alternative chemical product with less inherent propensity for occupational exposure or environmental contamination. Recycle any unused portion of the material for its approved use or return it to the manufacturer or supplier. Ultimate disposal of the chemical must consider: the material's impact on air quality; potential migration in soil or water; effects on animal, aquatic, and plant life; and conformance with environmental and public health regulations.

Use and Manufacturing

【Use and Manufacturing】
Methods of Manufacturing

... Manufactured by direct reaction of potassium chloride with concentrated nitric acid to produce potassium nitrate and chlorine... also by action of nitric acid on caustic potash or carbonate of potash.
Produced commercially in the United States based on the reaction of potassium chloride and nitric acid at elevated temperatures. Israel implements this reaction through a solvent extraction process.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries bacterial nitrification of nitrogen-rich organic wastes, e.g. animal feces, to potassium nitrite by piling with lime and potash was used...from mid-19th century to the 1950s conversion of Chile saltpeter with potassium chloride was the most important process... from ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride by double decomposition in aqueous solution.
U.S. Exports

(1972) 3.63X10+9 g
U.S. Imports

(1972) 4.63X10+10 g
(1975) 5.35X10+10 g
(1984) 1.51X10+9 g
(1986) 3.62X10+6 lb
U.S. Production

(1972) 4.23X10+10 g
(1975) 9.89X10+10 g
Production volumes for non-confidential chemicals reported under the Inventory Update Rule. Year Production Range (pounds) 1986 >500 thousandd-1 million 1990 >10 thousand-500 thousand 1994 >10 thousand-500 thousand 1998 >10 thousand-500 thousand 2002 >10 thousand-500 thousand
Consumption Patterns

About 86% for fertilizer; 6% in heat transfer salts; 4% in glass & ceramics; 2% in matches & pyrotechnics; and 2% for miscellaneous uses (1975)
【Sampling Procedures】
NIOSH 173: Analyte: Trace metals (incl potassium); Matrix: air; Procedure: filter collection, acid digestion /Trace metals/

Biomedical Effects and Toxicity

【Pharmacological Action】
- Substances that are energetically unstable and can produce a sudden expansion of the material, called an explosion, which is accompanied by heat, pressure and noise. Other things which have been described as explosive that are not included here are explosive action of laser heating, human performance, sudden epidemiological outbreaks, or fast cell growth.
【Therapeutic Uses】
Toothpastes intended to prevent caries and to reduce painful sensitivity of the teeth are regulated as over-the-counter (OTC) anticaries drug products at Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Part 355. Such products may contain up to 5% potassium nitrate as a tooth desensitizing ingredient.
Dentinal hypersensitivity occurs when gingival recession exposes dentin at the cervical margins of teeth. Twenty-four periodontal patients, with postoperative hypersensitive dentin were treated by burnishing saturated potassium nitrate (KNO3) to relieve pain. Using a visual analogue scale with participants acting as their own control, a subjective assessment of pain was measured and compared before and after KNO3 application. Thirty-six regions involving 98 teeth were assessed. A significant reduction of sensitivity and pain was achieved by using a saturated KNO3 solution (p < .0001 Student-t). [Touyz LZ, Stern J; .Gen Dent 47 (1): 42-5 (1999)]
【Biomedical Effects and Toxicity】
It is generally assumed that absorption takes place in upper portion of small intestine & ... excretion is primarily, if not exclusively, through kidney. ... preliminary observations ... have shown that not all animals reduce nitrate to nitrite in saliva. It is of considerable significance that major differences occur among mammalian species in the ability to concn nitrate from plasma into saliva. Large interspecies differences have also been shown to occur in elimination kinetics of nitrate. /Nitrate/
Nitrate and nitrite given orally are absorbed and transferred to the blood in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. Abundant pectin in the food may delay absorption which may then occur lower down in the intestine, with possible increased risk for microbial transformation of nitrate into nitrite. /Nitrate and nitrite/
Regardless of route of exposure, nitrate and nitrite are rapidly transferred into the blood. Nitrite is gradually oxidized to nitrate which is readily distributed into most body fluids (urine, saliva, gastric juice, sweat, ileostomy fluid). Distribution of nitrate into plasma, erythrocytes, saliva and urine following an oral dose of sodium nitrate has been demonstrated ... Nitrate does not accumulate in the body. /Nitrate and nitrite/
Approximately 60% of oral nitrate is excreted in urine ... bacterial or endogenous metabolism probably accounts for the remainder. A minor part is excreted in sweat. /Nitrate/
... Potassium nitrate ... /is/ rapidly absorbed and excreted unchanged ... Under some circumstances, however, appreciable amt of nitrate are converted to nitrite.

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