Re: Potassium nitrate = saltpeter

> From: stevensj at calshp_cals.wisc.edu
> Date: Fri, 19 Jan 96 14:26:04 CST
> Subject: Fertilizers
> There seems to be a little confusion about potassium nitrate & nitrite.
> Salt peter is potassium nitrite (which used to be used for curing meat!)

No, Saltpeter is potassium nitrate, which was indeed used for curing meat.
Sodium nitrate, sometimes called chile saltpeter, is also used to cure meat.
Sodium nitrite is also used to preserve meat.

> and probably not a desirable compound to add if you have fish in your
> tank since nitrite, depending on the level, can be quite toxic.
> Joanne.

Curtis Hoganson
Dept. of Chemistry, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824   517-355-9715 ext 260