Potassium Chloride Electrolysis

In summary, the conversation discussed a temporary solution for producing potassium hydroxide (KOH) through electrolysis due to changes in regulations in Argentina. The proposed method involves using a DIY diaphragm electrolysis cell for a chloralkali process, using distilled water and a saturated solution of KCL. Safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and disposing of chlorine gas, should be taken into consideration. It was suggested to use sodium carbonate instead of KOH, and to check if bulk KOH crystals can be purchased.
  • #1
TL;DR Summary
using a diaphragm electrolysis cell for a chloralkali process to produce koh using kcl
Hi everyone, I'm new on this forum, I make potassium soap but there were changes in the regulations in my country (Argentina) and now there's a lot of slow bureaucracy needed to buy chemicals like KOH (the regulations are industry-focused but are affecting small businesses like mine) so meanwhile I need a temporary solution which is to produce the KOH by myself through electrolysis

the idea is to use a diy diaphragm electrolysis cell for a chloralkali process, the catholite (with destilled water) and analyte (with a saturated solution of KCL), placing an inverted funnel on the anode and connecting it to a baker with NAOH to absorb most of the CL gas as this is very toxic, this might turn into bleach in the end. It will be necessary to stir the analyte often to make sure anode is always in contact with the saturated solution (this when the cell is turned on) in the case of the cathode, covering most of the chamber, not airtight, allowing some of the H gas to escape (this to prevent CO2 from getting into the chamber as it would react with the KOH) in a small scale this would be done with 1.5 amps for around 4 days and probably produce around 50 grams of KOH, in the end, the anode will still have KCL though contaminated with bleach and impurities, the cathode will have a solution with KOH. Titration will need to be performed in order to find out how much KOH is in that solution

Could this be scaled up to produce kilograms, not just a few grams? possibly using 2 of the typical 120 liters steel barrels? are there any other safety measures I should keep in mind? (besides wearing gloves, etc) specially with hydrogen being flammable. is there anything I might be missing? thanks beforehand
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  • #2
Seems to be a very difficult process for small scale use. You have to dispose of Chlorine and the product is impure. The diaphragm involves asbestos I believe. Would it be possible to make the soap using Sodium Carbonate?
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Likes berkeman
  • #3
Chlorine gas is very toxic. It was used for warfare in World War I. Do you have an emergency evacuation or a fume hood?
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Likes berkeman
  • #4
jim mcnamara said:
Chlorine gas is very toxic. It was used for warfare in World War I. Do you have an emergency evacuation or a fume hood?
"No, no. I live in a middle floor in a high-rise apartment building here in Argentina..." :wink:
  • #5
Can you buy bulk KOH crystals? If yes, google for "recipe for Potassium soap using potassium hydroxide"
See if that matches your requirements.
  • #6
KOH is also regulated here and as a soap maker, NaOH will also work, although KOH is said to be better.

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