Potassium Hydroxide Safety
Name: Erika Brown
I am a photography student and I am working on a project
where I am making film developer out of coffee. The recipe for the developer
asks for Potassium Hydroxide. It requires me to mix this with baking
soda, coffee, and water. I am quite concerned about mixing it with
water after researching it because of all of the warnings say not to
mix the two together. My question to you is how safe is it to mix
Potassium Hydroxide with water?
I really have no idea what exactly can happen.
Thank you very much.
Solid potassium hydroxide, like solid sodium hydroxide, releases a large
amount of heat when dissolved in water. To prevent overheating, add the
potassium hydroxide TO THE WATER SLOWLY, not the other way around. The heat
capacity of the water will help absorb the heat.
If you want added precaution place the vessel in an ice bath.
Your concern for safety is commendable. Also wear eye shields and protective
gloves. Even disposable latex or polyethylene gloves are adequate.
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Update: June 2012