Potassium Humate is the potassium salt of humic acid. It is made commercailly by alkaline removal of Leonardite (brownish charcoal) or peat and is utilized as a soil conditioner. The extraction is performed in water with the addition of potassium hydroxide (KOH), sequestering agents and hydrotropic surfactants. Heat is used to increase the solubility of humic acids and hence more potassium humate can be extracted. The resulting liquid is dried to produce the amorphous crystalline like product which can then be added as a granule to fertiliser. The potassium humate granules by way of chemical extraction lose their hydrophobic properties and are now soluble. Depending on the source material product quality varies. High quality oxidised lignite (brown coal) usually referred to as leonardite is the best source material for extraction of large quantities of potassium humate 100%. The less oxidised the coal the less potassium humate 85% extracted. Sources low in ash produce the best quality. Less oxidised brownish coal has a greater percentage of the insoluble humin fraction and in addition to peat which is lower in humic acid content and often high in ash content calls for splitting up by filtering or centrifugation to remove ash, humin. Peat is additionally higher in non humified organic matter that should be minimized to generate a first class item.The benefit of peat is that it is often 2-3 times greater in fulvic acid content, which are the low molecular weight fractions of humic acid 95% that are higher in air consisting of functional groups. Fulvic acids have a higher cation exchange capacity and therefore have a higher chemical interaction with fertilisers and are able to form soluble chelates of trace metals.
It is utilized in farming as a fertilser additive to improve the performance of fertilisers especially nitrogen and phosphorus based fertiliser inputs. Second salts of humic acid are produced, generally sodium humate which is made use of in pet health and wellness supplements. It likewise could utilized in oil exploration mud additive and Aquaculture Aquaculture.
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