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Thread: Dehydrating Potassium carbonate (dessicant) for reuse

  1. #1 Dehydrating Potassium carbonate (dessicant) for reuse 
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    Does anyone know how to dehydrate the dessicant Potassium carbonate?

    We have used Potassium carbonate for drying acetone solvent. Now we are thinking of somehow drying it for future use. Any suggestions


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Heat it


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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Would that not just decompose it to the oxide and CO2?
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    Search on the internet gave information that Potassium carbonate is stable under heating upto 300C. I doubt that.
    But, I will try heating a small amount and see if there is any decrease in weight.
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    Vacuum pump.
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  7. #6  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I asked around the department and the consensus seems to be heating it will drive off water without causing decomposition as long as you don't go above ~100 C.
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  8. #7  
    KJW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I asked around the department and the consensus seems to be heating it will drive off water without causing decomposition as long as you don't go above ~100 C.
    I was under the impression that alkali metal carbonates (with the possible exception of lithium carbonate) were quite stable to heat. Other metal carbonates do tend to decompose on heating to the oxide of the metal and carbon dioxide.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    You could be right, it's a while since I thought about it. Not all carbonates decompose easily and I couldn't remember if this was one of them hence my question in post #3.
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  10. #9  
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    Potassium carbonate has an extremely high decomposition temperature. It will melt at 891 degrees before it decomposes. It was formerly produced by evaporation of an aqueous solution in large pots. Hence the name potash.
    Even if it did decompose, there is no real problem as potassium oxide and hydroxides are extremely good desiccants.

    Oh, wait, on reading the OP you say you are using it for drying acetone. Acetone reacts to form diacetone alcohol under the action of hydroxide. Which makes me wonder how come this doesn't cause a problem with your use of the carbonate as a desiccant. Anyway, I think you will find that you won't get any decomposition.
    Last edited by Warron; January 19th, 2014 at 07:08 PM.
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  11. #10 Thanks for the reply 
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    We successfully did the drying of acetone using Potassium carbonate and the results were fine. Water was not detected in the acetone. We did not heat the acetone in Potassium carbonate. (Left the acetone in POtassium carbonate overnight, filtered it in the morning and then distilled it.)
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