NILERED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NILERED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Melting and cleaning potassium in mineral oil. This footage shows the final part of a series of steps in a process used to clean and purify potassium that had acquired a layer of oxides. Before the stage shown here, the oxides were removed from the potassium by chemical treatment. Then the partially-cleaned potassium was placed in a beaker of mineral oil to be melted down to remove solid impurities. This final melting stage, also under mineral oil, is done to remove most of the remaining impurities. Though a sheen of oxide is still present, the potassium is now much cleaner and ready to be stored until needed.
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