Potassium sodium tartrate

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Template:Chembox E number
Potassium sodium tartrate
IUPAC name Potassium sodium tartrate
Identifiers
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Properties
KNaC4H4O6·4H2O
Molar mass 282.1 g/mol
Melting point
Boiling point
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Potassium sodium tartrate is a double salt first prepared (in about 1675) by an apothecary, Pierre Seignette, of La Rochelle, France. As a result the salt was known as Seignette's salt or Rochelle salt.

It is a colorless to blue-white salt crystallizing in the orthorhombic system. Its molecular formula is KNaC4H4O6·4H2O. It is slightly soluble in alcohol but more completely soluble in water. It has a specific gravity of about 1.79, a melting point of approximately 75 °C, and has a saline, cooling taste. As a food additive, its E number is E337.

It has been used medicinally as a purgative but in more recent years its piezoelectric properties have been more important and it has found usage in phonograph pickups and other sensing devices. It has also been used in the process of silvering mirrors. It is an ingredient of Fehling's solution, formerly used in the determination of reducing sugars in solutions.

In organic synthesis, it is used in aqueous workups to break up emulsions, particularly for reactions in which an aluminum-based hydride reagent was used.

Rochelle salt can be made from common household goods: cream of tartar and washing soda or baking powder. In part because of the steep temperature dependence on solubility, large crystals of Rochelle salt are easy to grow.

It is also an ingredient in the Biuret reagent which is used to measure protein concentration.

References

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