Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is an odorless crystalline solid that arrays in color from white come dirty grey. They space water-soluble, non-combustible link that speed up the combustion of flammability materials.

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It might explode once exposed to warmth or fire for an extended period. In the fire, the emits toxic nitrogen oxides. It is used in solid propellants, explosives, and fertilizers.

In this article, we’ll look at at whether potassium nitrate (KNO3) is an acid or a base.

So is KNO3 acidic or basic? KNO3 is no acidic no one basic. The is a neutral salt because of the neutralization of a solid acid nitric acid (HNO3) v a solid base potassium hydroxide (KOH). This neutralizes each other’s effects and forms a neutral solution whose pH is 7.

Let us inspect its fundamentals in detail.

Why is KNO3 a Neutral Salt?

Neutral Salt

A neutral salt is a salt formed by the neutralization that acid and base that has actually neither acidic no one alkaline properties when liquified in one aqueous solution.



In chemistry, neutralization is a quantitative reaction in i beg your pardon an acid and a basic react with one other. During this reaction, it creates the water molecule and also salt compound.

ACID + base → SALT + WATER

Therefore, Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a neutral salt the is formed by the neutralization reaction that the solid acid (HNO3) through the strong base (KOH)

HNO3 + KOH → KNO3 + H2O

According come the principle of neutralization:

Strong mountain + strong base = Neutral solution

Stronger acid + Weak basic = Acidic solution

Strong base + Weak mountain = an easy solution

Ionic Reaction

An ionic reaction is a chemical reaction in i beg your pardon the dissolved ionic compounds space dissipated as totally free ions.

K+ + OH– + H+ + NO3– → K+ + NO3– + H2O

Common ion from both sides need to be canceled out of each other.

The staying ions that the reaction form the water.

H+ + OH– → H2O

The ultimate systems of KNO3 consists of an equal variety of H+ and also OH–, therefore, that aqueous systems is neutral and its pH is identified as 7.

One usual salt on our dining table is NaCl. I have actually written an post on the ionic nature of NaCl.

Dissociation the KNO3 in an aqueous solution

KNO3 is a dissolve ionic molecule that extensively dissociates in one aqueous systems to form potassium cations, K+, and also nitrate anions, NO3-.

KNO3(aq) → K (aq) + NO3- (aq)

In KNO3, K+ is the an extremely weak conjugate mountain of KOH, and also NO3– is a an extremely weak conjugate basic of HNO3, hence, both these ion are an extremely weak, therefore, the effect of these ions on altering the pH value of the aqueous systems is practically zero.

Therefore, the aqueous solution of potassium nitrate (KNO3) is neutral v no other acidic or alkaline properties.

Why is KNO3 no an Acid?

Any hydrogen-containing substance capable of donating a proton (hydrogen ion) to another substance is described as one acid.

1. Arrhenius characterized acids as compounds the ionize to type hydrogen ions.

2. According to the Lowry-Bronsted definition, an mountain is a proton donor.

3. The Lewis meaning of acids defines acids together “electron-pair acceptors”.

Therefore KNO3 is no classified together an acid due to the fact that it lacks any kind of H+ or proton ion come donate.

So, dissolve KNO3 in one aqueous solution has no effect, i.e., the aqueous solution stays unchanged after dissolve KNO3.

Why KNO3 is no a Base?

A basic is a molecule or ion that can accept hydrogen ion from acids.

1. Arrhenius identified bases as compounds that ionize to type hydroxide ions.

2. According come the Lowry-Bronsted definition, a base is a proton acceptor.

3. The Lewis an interpretation of bases describes bases as “electron-pair receptors”.

Therefore KNO3 is not classified together a base due to the fact that it lacks any type of OH- or proton ion to accept.

So, dissolve KNO3 in one aqueous solution has actually no effect, i.e., the aqueous solution stays unchanged after dissolve KNO3.

The pH the KNO3


The pH (potential the hydrogen) the a chemical link determines that acidic/basic nature.

The pH of any compound is in reality a measure up of the loved one amount of complimentary hydrogen and also hydroxyl ions present in it.

The pH of any compound can be majorly figured out by 2 methods

1. pH meter


The range runs indigenous 0 to 14, through 7 representing neutral.

A pH less than 7 mirrors that the compound is acidic.

A pH better than 7 reflects that the compound is basic.

2. Litmus Paper


To identify acids and also bases, two varieties of litmus document are accessible they are:

Red litmus document and blue litmus paper.

When exposed come acidic conditions, blue litmus record turns RED.

When exposed to basic conditions, red litmus paper turns BLUE.

For Potassium nitrate (KNO3) being a neutral compound, it does not readjust the shade of either of the litmus paper.

Interestingly, we have actually Purple litmus paper, which is also known as neutral litmus paper. This can also be prepared as one aqueous systems whose mechanism is the exact same as the litmus paper.

Purple or neutral litmus record and solution form a red-colored solution once reacted through acids.

• castle turn right into a blue solution when reacted v bases.

• as soon as reacted through neutral salts or compounds, the violet litmus record (neutral litmus paper) or equipment (neutral litmus solution) transforms into environment-friendly color.

Calculation of mountain or Basicity

The better the concentration that hydrogen ions from mountain molecules, the reduced the pH the the equipment and, as a result, the better its acidity.

The opposite is true for hydroxide ions and also bases; the greater the concentration the hydroxide ions from base molecules, the higher the pH of the equipment and, together a result, the basicity.

But for the chemical compound KNO3-, it has actually no extra H+ or OH- ions once it is dissolved in one aqueous systems (ex: H2O)which means there is a ZERO concentration the H+ and also OH- ions.

This is since the strong acid HNO3 is fully neutralized v the strong base KOH.

All this points at some point meet a single answer that, the neutralization of solid acid and a solid base constantly produces a neutral salt of pH which is assumed to be 7.

In this case, over there is no require for any calculations.

It is clearly proved that the pH of KNO3 is 7 and, thereby, potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a neutral compound.

General truth of KNO3

1. KNO3 is one of several nitrogen-containing compounds jointly referred to as saltpeter in phibìc America.

2. The is a white solid dissolve in water formed by fountain crystallization of sodium nitrate and potassium chloride solutions.

3. It normally occurs together niter in rocks in India, southern Africa, and Brazil.

4. The molar mass of Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) is 101.1032 g/mol.

5. The density of KNO3 is 2.109 g/cm3.

6. The boiling point of KNO3 is 400 °C vice versa, the melting suggest is 334 °C.

7. Potassium nitrate has actually an orthorhombic crystal structure at room temperature, i m sorry transforms into a trigonal mechanism at 129 °C (264 °F).

8. The solubility of KNO3 boosts with temperature.

9. The is dissolve in water however insoluble in alcohol.

10. The is not a gift compound.

11. It can react explosively through reducing agents, but it is no explosive top top its own.

Uses that KNO3

1. It’s offered as dynamite in explosives favor bombs and grenades.

2. Offered in the production and also manufacture the cigarettes.

3. It is frequently employed in the preservation of skins.

4. In toothpaste, the is supplied to do the teeth less sensitive to discomfort.

5. It has therapeutic benefits, such together being used as a diuretic in medicine.

6. The is offered in medicines as a vasodilator and as an antidote for cyanide poisoning.

7. That is supplied as a fertilizer because it includes all the macronutrients forced for tree growth.

8. In the food sector, the is provided to safeguard meat native microbiological pathogens.

9. Oxidizer in heavy rocket propellants.

10. The is supplied as a fining agent for ceramics.

11. Some develops of potassium nitrate are used as heat-transfer agents.

Fun Fact

• since of its prevalent use and production, potassium nitrate (KNO3) is known by a selection of names.

• through the 15th century, Europeans to be referring come it as “Indian saltpetre”, and also later as potash nitrate.

• The Arabs referred to it as “Chinese snow.”

• Iranians/Persians referred to it together “Chinese salt” or “salt from Chinese salt marshes.”


In this article, we have debated detailly the chemical nature that Potassium nitrate (KNO3) and also its other attributes such together their properties, uses, and additionally the health results on human beings according to its measure of exposure.

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It has been concluded the KNO3 is neutral in nature as it is obtained due come the neutralization the a strong acid (HNO3) v a strong base (KOH).