Potassium chloride (KCl) is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine.
In its pure state it is odorless. It has a white or colorless vitreous crystal, with a crystal structure that cleaves easily in three directions.
Potassium chloride is also commonly known as "Muriate of Potash". Potash varies in color from pink or red to white depending on the mining and recovery process used. White potash, sometimes referred to as soluble potash, is usually higher in analysis and is used primarily for making liquid starter fertilizers.
Potassium Chloride or KCl is used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing and in judicial execution through lethal injection. It occurs naturally as the mineral sylvite and in combination with sodium chloride as sylvinite.
The majority of the potassium chloride produced is used for making fertilizer, since the growth of many plants is limited by their potassium intake.
As a chemical feedstock it is used for the manufacture of potassium hydroxide and potassium metal. It is also used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing, and as a sodium-free substitute for table salt (sodium chloride).
Potassium chloride is also used as the third of a three drug combination in judicial execution through lethal injection.
Potassium Chloride is sometimes used in water as a completion fluid in petroleum and natural gas operations, as well as being an alternative to sodium chloride in household water softener units.
KCl is also useful as a beta radiation source for calibration of radiation monitoring equipment.