formula: K; CAS Registry Number: 7440-09-7

Naturally occurring alkali metal

Potassium is a common element but occurs in nature only as ionic salt.

It is of commercial interest mainly as component in fertilizers. Na-K-alloys are used as coolant in nuclear reactors. Further applications of potassium and its compounds include those in chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in glass and ceramics production, in electrical industry, measuring techniques, pyrotechnics, food industry and engineering.

Potassium is an essential element for all living organisms. Its toxicity is low and deficiency is more relevant than toxic effects.

Potassium contents in plants depend on the respective soils, species and age and vary between different parts of the plants. In animals, potassium is regulated and body concentrations are influenced e.g. by species, age, sex and weight.

Plants are capable of accumulating potassium.


Sampling area

Sampling period

1994 - 2021