What's New

Breaking Down Proper Potassium Hydroxide Storage


Potassium hydroxide is an NSF/ANSI 61 approved chemical at 50% or less concentration for Poly Processing’s tank systems.

When storing potassium hydroxide, having the proper storage method in place helps avoid leaks or other types of incidents or accidents. The introduction of potassium hydroxide to water will generate significant heat while forming a caustic solution. This may create a violent, exothermic reaction if its not done properly. Potassium hydroxide is also a severe irritant that can cause serious damage to the upper respiratory tract. It is toxic if swallowed, and corrosive to skin.

Let’s take a closer look at what potassium hydroxide is, how it’s used, and how you can properly store it to make certain your employees are safe.

Potassium_Hydroxide_Chemical_Label.gifWhat is Potassium Hydroxide?

Potassium hydroxide, chemically known as KOH, is more commonly known as potash or caustic potash. It is another material, like caustic soda, that can be added to water to raise the pH level. It is different from caustic soda in that the particles are smaller and it works quicker. Potassium hydroxide comes in the form of a white, odorless solid, packaged in bags as flakes or pellets in many cases.

Potassium hydroxide is produced by the electrolysis of potassium chloride brine in electrolytic cells. When potassium chloride brine is fed to the electrolytic cell, the process yields a solution of potassium hydroxide and co-products of chlorine and hydrogen.

Common Uses of Potassium Hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide is used in a wide variety of industrial applications. One of the most common uses is in adjusting the pH level of water, such as is needed in water treatment plants. Adding potassium hydroxide makes water that is too acidic more basic.

Potassium hydroxide has a number of other uses, as well. These include the production of potassium carbonate, potassium phosphates, liquid fertilizers, and potassium soaps and detergents. The largest production use is in the production of potassium carbonate, which is used primarily in the manufacture of specialty glasses, such as television screens, etc.

It is also found in multiple other applications, such as the production of food, soaps, dyes and pigments, boiler compounds, electroplating baths, dehydrating agents, titanium enamels, fire extinguishing powders, extraction of carbon dioxide from the industrial gas streams, and vat dyeing and textile printing. Further, it’s used as a chemical intermediate for the production of several potassium chemicals, including potassium fluoride, bisulfite, ferrocyanide, acetate, bicarbonate, silicate, and others.

Storing Potassium Hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide is very absorbent of moisture in the air, so it must be stored in a cool, dry place. We recommend a tightly closed chemical storage tank located in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhalation problems. Because it is categorized as a hazardous material, you must take proper precautions for potassium hydroxide storage.

It’s recommended that this powerful pH-balancing chemical is stored in a high-density cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) tank.. The XLPE tank system gives the end user the best of both worlds. A strong structural tank with a superior chemical resistivuty. This system gives the owner longevity and peace of mind, knowing that the tank is built for potassium hydroxide from the ground up.

Potassium hydroxide is an NSF/ANSI 61 approved chemical at 50% or less concentration for Poly Processing’s tank systems. The tank system is a 1.65 SPG XLPE tank system, PVC fittings, EPDM gaskets, and 316 SS bolts.

To learn more about how you can ensure proper storage of potassium hydroxide, contact a chemical storage tank expert today.

Talk to a chemical storage tank expert