Occurence, isolation & synthesis


In nature, potassium is found in the Earth's crust, 2.59 % (w/w), in minerals such as sylvite, orthoclase, microcline, and carnallite [7]. The isotopes found in nature are 39K (93.22 %, stable), 40K (0.012 %, T½ = 1.26 · 109 years) and 41K (6.77 %, stable) [7].

In pure, solid form, potassium exist in a body-centered cubic crystal structure [7]


Potassium is produced by the reaction of molten Na and KCl [6]:

Na (l) + KCl (l) K (l) + NaCl (l)

The sodium is fed at the bottom of a column and the molten potassium comes out at the top.