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The body responds to the influx of dietary potassium, which raises serum potassium levels, with a shift of potassium from outside to inside cells and an increase in potassium excretion by the kidneys.Most industrial applications of potassium exploit the high solubility in water of potassium compounds, such as potassium soaps.Potassium is chemically very similar to sodium, the previous element in group 1 of the periodic table.They have a similar first ionization energy, which allows for each atom to give up its sole outer electron.Details about laboratory construction and facilities can be found under Infrastructure.

The ability to quantify the rates of these processes and to rigorously test specific cause-effect relationships requires a time scale.Potassium is an extremely active metal that reacts violently with oxygen in water and air.With oxygen it forms potassium peroxide, and with water potassium forms potassium hydroxide.Heavy crop production rapidly depletes the soil of potassium, and this can be remedied with agricultural fertilizers containing potassium, accounting for 95% of global potassium chemical production.which refers to an early method of extracting various potassium salts: placing in a pot the ash of burnt wood or tree leaves, adding water, heating, and evaporating the solution.

It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which its name derives.

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