This is a fine white powder that is created by performing electrolysis on potassium chloride, then adding carbon dioxide to produce the crystalline form. It is soluble in water and was first made in the 18th century by baking potash in a kiln. The remaining powder was called pearl ash and was mostly comprised of potassium carbonate.
As a naturally occurring substance, potassium carbonate has many uses. It can be an ingredient in making traditional Chinese or German dishes, as long as it is not added in concentrated doses. This substance also has uses in making soap, glass, or fine china. It can also be used as a feed supplement to add potassium to the diet of livestock. In concentrated doses, it acts as a fire suppressant or as a drying agent.
In small doses, potassium carbonate is not harmful to humans, but it can cause mild pain or redness if exposed to skin and could result in a sore throat or cough if inhaled directly.