The Instrumentation Center

Potassium

k box

Contributor: Professor Andrew Jorgensen

About the Display: This display features

  • a banana - bananas are a great source of potassium, they contain about 422 mg per cup! 
  • a can of pumpkin pie filling - one cup of pumpkin contains 394 mg of potassium!
  • a can of black beans - a cup of black beans contains a whopping 2,760 mg of potassium!
  • almonds - one cup of almonds has 649 mg of potassium!
  • pure potassium metal under argon - pure potassium must be stored under special conditions, as it reacts with moisture in the air and can do so spontaneously! When it reacts, the potassium will form potassium hydroxide and hydrogen. The reaction is exothermic, meaning it releases heat. The reaction also ignites the hydrogen and is very difficult to extinguish! Even simply handling elemental potassium is a risk, as handling or cutting the metal can cause it to violently explode! Check out the video below to see pure potassium in action!

why do people need potassium?

jorgensenAbout the Contributor: Dr. Andrew Jorgensen is a chemistry professor at the University of Toledo.

Back to the Periodic Table

Symbol: K

Atomic Number: 19

Atomic Mass: 39.0983 u

Electron Configuration: [Ar] 4s1

Year Discovered: 1807

Discovered By: Humphry Davy

Last Updated: 3/28/17