Q:

What contains potassium nitrate?

A:

Quick Answer

Potassium nitrate is used in explosive materials such as gunpowder, matches, fireworks and fertilizer. In addition to its explosive uses, potassium nitrate can also be found in dental and other medical products. It can be used in food preparation to speed the cooking time of meats and beans.

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Full Answer

Before modern times, potassium nitrate was created by combining the nitrate from decomposing organic material with the potassium found in ashes. Its explosive nature causes potassium to easily ignite when combined with oxidizable materials. Potassium nitrate is also a pollutant that can contaminate water supplies when there is runoff from sewage treatment plants or fertilizers used in agriculture.

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