Potassium Hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide, also known as caustic potash or potash lye, is an inorganic compound with the formula KOH.

Manufacturers commonly produce potassium hydroxide by the electrolysis of a potassium chloride (KCl) solution. Potassium hydroxide is an odorless, clear liquid solution. KOH is a strong corrosive base because it breaks up in water into K and OH ions.

Caustic potash has high thermal stability and a relatively low melting point. Companies often metal-cast potassium hydroxide as pellets or rods since these forms have a low surface area.

When combined with an acid (neutralization reaction), potassium hydroxide will react violently and produce water, salt, and heat (heat of neutralization).

When in contact with many common metals (aluminum, tin, and zinc), potassium hydroxide reacts to produce flammable and potentially explosive hydrogen gas.

Northstar’s Potassium Hydroxide Products

Northstar Chemical offers liquid potassium hydroxide commonly as a 50% or 45% solution but can provide several dilutions from there. We also provide many custom blends with KOH.

Northstar offers potassium hydroxide in bulk and mini-bulk.

Please contact us to discuss your needs or to get additional info on our Mini-Bulk Tank Loan Program for this product.

Potassium Hydroxide Functions:

  • As a cleaning agent, especially in soft soaps and detergents
  • With its strong base properties, industry uses KOH to help neutralize acids and regulate pH
  • Adding alkaline to products
  • Maintaining industrial boilers, where KOH helps to keep the boiler’s pH levels high to prevent corrosion, it minimizes the amount of silica plating in a high-pressure boiler
  • Ingredient in chemical manufacturing such as potassium citrate
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Pharmaceutical product manufacturing
  • De-icing
  • Dehydrating agent for drying gases
  • Lubricant in the extrusion pressing of high melting alloys
  • Scavenger in gasoline treating process (dual layer) for removing mercaptans
  • Methylating agent alkaline builder in detergent formulations
  • Refining petroleum fractions
  • Removing insulating coatings from wire
  • Purifying olefin feedstock
  • Stabilizing synthetic lubricants
  • Removing naphthenic acids from natural gas
  • Descaling ferrous metals
  • Sweetening sour petroleum fractions
  • The fused alkaline salt mixture is used for metal cleaning
  • Lye peeling of fruits and tomatoes
  • In electrolytic stripping baths
  • In chemical compounding
  • In a molten bath for removing polyesters and polyurethanes from steel objects
  • Chemical desiccant
  • Agent for lowering the sulfur content of coal
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Catalyst for biodiesel production

Industries Use Potassium Hydroxide for These Applications:

  • By consumer product manufacturers in liquid soaps, lotions, shampoos, hairsprays, oven cleaners, and more
  • By the agriculture industry to help regulate the pH of acidic soils and in herbicides and insecticides
  • By the textile industry for making indigo dyes, scouring wool, and different finishing operations
  • By battery producers as an important component of alkaline batteries
  • In food manufacturing to help with commercially processing foods, as a rinse or chemical peel for fruits and vegetables, as a stabilizer to prolong shelf-life, as a thickener, and more
  • Refining
  • Rubber

Northstar’s Potassium Hydroxide Certifications

The potassium hydroxide provided by Northstar Chemical meets the following certifications: FCC Grade, Food Grade, Kosher, Halal, non-GMO, GRAS, NSF, and Technical Grade.

For more information, visit our certifications & listings page.