The previous blog post dealt with the amount of potassium produced annually.

As promised, this posting delas with the industrail method behind its production.

Essentially, there are three methods open to the chemist.

1, Electrolysis of potassium hydroxide (as developed by Davy who first isolated the metal). This is not very practical for a whole variety of reasons – why?

2, Industrially, by the ‘Thermal method’. Here, Potassium Chloride is reacted with Sodium in a displacement or redox reaction:

KCl + Na –> K + NaCl

3, Industrailly, by the ‘Greisheimer process’. A little bit more complicated than the above method. It involves reacting potassium fluoride with calcium carbide:

2KF + CaC2 –> CaF2 + 2K + 2C

Why do you think that the above method is sometimes favoured over the thermal method?

Why do you think the thermal method is sometimes favoured over the Greisheimer method?