View previous topic | View next topic

Potassium

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

Grymm
944753.  Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:34 pm Reply with quote

Well it's chemical symbol is K, might be a suitable 'curve ball/googlie' type subject.

 
Efros
944755.  Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:53 pm Reply with quote

The symbol is one of many atomic symbols that are derived from ancient names. In this case kalium, which is believed to be derived from the Arabic word "al-qalyah" meaning burnt ashes usually from plants. This is the root of alkali also, potassium is of course an alkali metal. The name potassium is derived from the modern Latin for potash, potassa, which is the source from which the meetal was first isolated.

Potassium is great to play with and will react vigourously with water with the release of hydrogen gas and the formation of potassium hydroxide, a strong soluble alkali. The hydrogen gas will usually ignite which can result in a quite impressive pop.

 
bemahan
944773.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:05 am Reply with quote

Years ago we had an elderly patient who was admitted with a range of symptoms and was found to have hypokalemia (low potassium levels) for no apparent reason and it wasn't improving. After a while, one of the nurses noticed that her visitors were bringing her massive amounts of liquorice. It transpired this formed a large part of her diet and liquorice reduces potassium levels. Mystery solved.

 
Efros
944793.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:21 am Reply with quote

Alcoholism can lead to low potassium levels, as well as B12 deficiencies. Another cause is excessive consumption of carbonated caffeinated drinks, the cause is not clear but it seems to be a combination of large amounts of caffeine, large volumes of liquid and lots of high fructose corn syrup. Hypokalaemia is also known as hypopotassaemia.

 
bemahan
944809.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:06 am Reply with quote

Couple of QI facts about potassium:

Quote:
Several neurotoxins work by disrupting our cells’ biological use of potassium. This can result in severe pain, or even death. These neurotoxins include agitoxin, charybdotoxin and margatoxin (scorpion stings), apamin (bee stings), and dendrotoxin (mamba snake bites).

Most of the universe’s potassium atoms were made in the final moments of giant stars as they exploded in supernovae. Potassium is made in the oxygen burning shell of stars when they explode. This is not normal burning, of course; it is nuclear fusion. Potassium is made, along with several other elements including sulfur, and silicon, during explosive oxygen burning in supernovae.

 
sally carr
944810.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:06 am Reply with quote

When I have one of those drinks I will have a bananana chaser.

 
bemahan
944811.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:09 am Reply with quote

Where do you buy your extra long bananas, sally?

Edited for missing 'o'


Last edited by bemahan on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Efros
944812.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:08 am Reply with quote

Same place as Nanny Ogg, she knows how to spell it she just doesn't know when to stop.

 
mckeonj
944833.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:48 am Reply with quote

There is an english slang word 'kalied' (pronounced 'kale-eyed'), which is one of many words meaning 'drunk'.
I presume this derives from a confusion or conflation of the words 'alcohol' and 'alkali' (al kohl & al kali).
We may also refer to alkaline restorative potions such as 'Alka-Seltzer', which mimic natural spa waters, which are mostly alkaline, and serve to restore the potassiom levels depleted by the consumption of alcohol.

 
Webster100
944849.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Couple of QI facts about potassium:

Quote:
Several neurotoxins work by disrupting our cells’ biological use of potassium. This can result in severe pain, or even death. These neurotoxins include agitoxin, charybdotoxin and margatoxin (scorpion stings), apamin (bee stings), and dendrotoxin (mamba snake bites).


Indeed, potassium is usually the main ingredient in the lethal injection. A little bit is essential, but huge amounts make it impossible for neurons to fire.

 
Efros
944865.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:25 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
There is an english slang word 'kalied' (pronounced 'kale-eyed'), which is one of many words meaning 'drunk'.
I presume this derives from a confusion or conflation of the words 'alcohol' and 'alkali' (al kohl & al kali).
We may also refer to alkaline restorative potions such as 'Alka-Seltzer', which mimic natural spa waters, which are mostly alkaline, and serve to restore the potassiom levels depleted by the consumption of alcohol.


I think they're more to do with the slightly alkaline properties which alleviate over acidity in the stomach. Alka Seltzer doesn't contain any potassium, but rather a mild alkali sodium bicarb.

Anhydrous citric acid 1000 mg. Antacid
Aspirin 325 mg (NSAID)*. Analgesic
Sodium bicarbonate (heat-treated) 1916 mg. Antacid
*nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

 
Posital
945019.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:08 pm Reply with quote

Potassium Permanganate is a wonderful thing. It turns all things purple - and makes lots of oxygen when heated.

Also used for treating water and as a disinfectant. Or even athletes foot...

 
Efros
945021.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:12 pm Reply with quote

Try mixing it with some glycerol sometime, just be careful!

 
Bondee
945033.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:29 pm Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
Also used for treating water and as a disinfectant. Or even athletes foot...


When I had chicken pox when I was little, the chemist sold my nan some potassium permanganate crystals and told her to dissolve a few in the water each time I had a bath. It eased the itching.

 
Efros
945042.  Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:47 pm Reply with quote

KMnO4 is a diabolically good oxidizer, and when reacted with conc sulfuric acid a dark green oil, known in the trade as green death is formed. This is manganese heptoxide (Mn2O7) which is an order of magnitude better as an oxidizer than KMnO4 which is very very nasty material. Manganese heptoxide will spontaneously and explosively combust alcohol, is used sparingly to eliminate impurities in the surface layers of glassware in specialized labs and is an unwanted byproduct in some chemical syntheses. Video. Another Video.

 

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group