Skip to main content
Select Source:

potassium nitrate

potassium nitrate, chemical compound, KNO3, occurring as colorless, prismatic crystals or as a white powder; it is found pure in nature as the mineral saltpeter, or niter. (The name saltpeter is also applied to sodium nitrate, although less frequently.) It is slightly soluble in cold water and very soluble in hot water. Potassium nitrate is prepared commercially by the reaction of potassium chloride with sodium nitrate. When potassium nitrate decomposes (on heating) it releases oxygen; it has been used extensively as the oxygen-supplying component of gunpowder since about the 12th cent. It is also used in explosives, fireworks, model rocket propellants, matches, and fertilizers, as a preservative in foods (especially meats), and in the manufacture of nitric acid and of glass.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"potassium nitrate." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"potassium nitrate." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/potassium-nitrate

"potassium nitrate." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/potassium-nitrate

saltpetre

saltpetre potassium nitrate, nitre. XVI. alt., by assim. to SALT, of †salpetre (XIV) — (O)F. salpètre — medL. salpetra, prob. for *sāl petræ ‘salt of rock’ (the substance being so named because it occurs as an incrustation on stones).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saltpetre." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saltpetre." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre-0

"saltpetre." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre-0

saltpetre

saltpetre (Bengal saltpetre) Potassium nitrate.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre

potassium nitrate

potassium nitrate See nitrates; saltpetre.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"potassium nitrate." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"potassium nitrate." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/potassium-nitrate

"potassium nitrate." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/potassium-nitrate

saltpetre

saltpetre See NITRE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre

"saltpetre." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre

saltpetre

saltpetrecater, crater, creator, curator, data, debater, delator, dumbwaiter, equator, freighter, frustrater, gaiter, grater, gyrator, hater, later, legator, mater, negator, pater, peseta, plater, rotator, skater, slater, stater, tater, traitor, ultimata, understater, upstater, waiter •painter •taster, waster •gamester • aviator • tailgater •hesitater • shirtwaister •Akita, Anita, arboreta, beater, beta, Bhagavadgita, cheater, cheetah, Demeter, Dieter, dolce vita, eater, eta, Evita, excreta, fetor, granita, greeter, heater, Juanita, litre (US liter), Lolita, maltreater, margarita, meter, metre, Peta, peter, praetor (US pretor), repeater, Rita, saltpetre (US saltpeter), secretor, Senhorita, señorita, Sita, skeeter, teeter, terra incognita, theta, treater, tweeter, ureter, veleta, zeta •Batista, Dniester, Easter, feaster, keister, leister, quaestor •speedster •deemster, teamster •scenester • browbeater • windcheater •beefeater •millilitre (US milliliter) •decilitre (US deciliter) •centilitre (US centiliter) •kilolitre (US kiloliter) •ammeter • Machmeter •millimetre (US millimeter) •decimetre (US decimeter) •altimeter •centimetre (US centimeter) •nanometre (US nanometer) •micrometer, micrometre •decametre (US dekameter) •kilometre (US kilometer) • autopista •anteater

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saltpetre." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saltpetre." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre

"saltpetre." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saltpetre