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Potassium burning

Potassium burning

A510/0207

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Credit

ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Potassium burning in oxygen. Potassium (K) is a soft, alkali metal. When heated in an atmosphere of oxygen, it will burn with a brilliant flame to form potassium dioxide (or potassium superoxide, KO2). Potassium is the seventh most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, but is not found in its elemental form. As the superoxide it is used in breathing apparatuses.

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