At room temperature, potassium is a solid. This alkali metal melts at 146.08 degrees Fahrenheit, or 63.38 degrees Celsius, and boils at 1,398 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 759 degrees Celsius.
The term "potassium" is derived from the word "potash." Its chemical symbol, "K," is derived from "kalium," which is Latin for "alkali."
Potassium is a very soft metal. It is the eighth most common element on earth and makes up about 2 percent of the planet's crust. Commercially, potassium has several applications. For example, potassium chloride is a component of some fertilizers. Soaps, detergents and drain cleaners contain potassium hydroxide. Certain kinds of soap and glass contain potassium carbonate.