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Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Producing Potash
Ar. ushnān, Mid. Dutch potaschen, Eng. potash. A method of making potassium carbonate (K2). In medieval times it was made into soap used by dinners to wash their hands before and after meals. Seven Arab recipes for making it have been found in their manuscripts. They used soda from perfumed vegetable ash. By 800, Triana, a suburb of Seville, was the first a major producer of potash soap. 

Potash is produced by leaching ashes and sea plants and then evaporating the resulting solution in large pots. Sea plants were the primary ingredient in Triana. The reside left us called “pot ash”. This was boiled with
olive oil, soda and lime. It could be scented with almond oil, Rosemary and other herbs and spices. Triana was known for it boiling pots leaching the ashes.

In the photo above shows ashes being steeped from a wood fire to leach out caustic soda. The liquid runs into a cauldron where it is boiled to reduce water content. 

[ES: Flicker. Potash. Aug 4, 17; ES: Wikipedia.org/Potash; and Rodison. “Studies.” 2001:145]

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