Elements and Compounds

Potassium chloride plus sodium nitrate equation?

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April 03, 2013 3:38AM

Actually, this is a very simple metathesis reaction. Dissolving

NaNO3 and KCl in hot water will produce a solution of Na+, K+,

NO3-, and Cl- ions. Simply cooling this solution will cause the

anion/cation combination with the lowest solubility to selectively

precipitate out. Looking at some data for these salts:


KCl: 280g/L (0°C)

NaNO3: 730g/L (0°C)

KNO3: 130g/L (0°C)

NaCl: 360g/L (0°C)


Potassium nitrate has a relatively steep solubility vs temperature

curve, and is the least soluble at 0°C, so it will crystallize very

readily from a hot saturated solution that has been chilled to

around the freezing point of pure water. Filtering out and

collecting the precipitated KNO3 just leaves you with a solution of

mostly Na+ and Cl- ions. The solubility of NaCl is quite high and

doesn't change much with temperature, so it's possible to extract

quite pure KNO3 directly from this reaction.


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