DEFINITION of 'Potash'

Potash, from the Dutch potaschen, meaning "pot ashes," is the common name for any of several compounds containing potassium, such as potassium carbonate (K2CO3), potassium oxide (K2O) and potassium chloride (KCl). These compounds are used primarily in the manufacture of fertilizer.


Potash was originally made by saturating wood ashes in water, then heating the mix in an iron pot until the liquid evaporated, leaving a white residue called "pot ash". Potash is used in fertilizers, soap, and glass and ceramics manufacturing. Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in our planet's crust, with most reserves found in Canada.

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