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po·tas·si·um ni·trate

sometimes used as a diuretic and diaphoretic; formerly it was included in asthmatic powders containing stramonium leaves.
Synonym(s): niter, saltpeter


Etymology: L, sal, salt, petra, rock
common name for potassium nitrate, KNO3, used in gunpowder, pickling substances, and medicines.


, saltpetre (salt′pēt′ĕr) [L. sal petrae, salt of rock]
A common name for potassium nitrate.
CAS # 7757-79-1

Chile saltpeter

A common name for sodium nitrate, NaNO3; a crystalline powder, saline in taste and soluble in water.
CAS # 7631-99-4

saltpeter, saltpetre

potassium nitrate.
References in periodicals archive ?
English scholar Roger Bacon (1214-1294) was one of the first Europeans to study gunpowder and realised it was saltpeter that held the key.
of Bath, UK) has organized the 20 papers into sections on modern perceptions and ancient knowledge, the production of saltpeter and gunpowder in Europe, the overseas transfer of technology from Europe, military technicalities, and modern developments.
After a general introduction (1) to military history, the development of the Ottoman military, and the manufacture of arms, the book discusses (2) gunpowder technology and the Ottomans; (3) cannons and muskets; (4) saltpeter industries; (5) gunpowder industries; and (6) munitions and ordnance industries.
5) Confederate munitions factories desperately needed saltpeter, extracted from urine, as a gunpowder ingredient.
These had been used in the mining of saltpeter to make gunpowder for the War of 1812.
Most of the material in respective articles about English and Swedish saltpeter production is about policy, technology, or mechanical considerations.
UNITED STATES: Georgia: Bartow County, Kingston Saltpeter Cave (34[degrees]12'N, 84[degrees]54'W), 2 June 1999, W.
In the past, saltpeter was administered in boys' schools and in the army, in the mistaken belief that it could curb sexual desires.
Once manmade chemical nitrates were created--it's used in gunpowder--the saltpeter market collapsed.
The absence of any visible erotic heat between Deneuve and Everett throws saltpeter on the whole affair.
At least 50,000 Indiana myotis were documented in Ray's Cave and in Twin Domes Cave; Wyandotte, Jug Hole, Batwing, Coon, and Grotto caves each contained 10,000-50,000 Indiana myotis; Parker's Pit Cave contained 1000-10,000 bats; and Buckner, Saltpeter (Crawford County), Saltpeter (Monroe County), Clyfty, Endless, Leonard Springs, Robinson Ladder, Sexton Springs, Wallier, King Blair/Brinegar, Panther/Neyman, and Gypsy Bill Allen caves each contained 100-1000 bats.
Birkeland developed a cannon that could be fired using an electrical charge, and he experimented with the extraction of saltpeter from the air and with hydroelectricity.