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[mass noun] A white crystalline salt which occurs naturally in nitre and is used in preserving meat and as a constituent of gunpowder.
- ‘The flux also might contain silica, borax, soda ash, potassium nitrate and household flour.’
- ‘Several formulations are available, and all are based on fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate, ammoniated phosphates, potassium sulfate, potassium nitrate.’
- ‘The Chinese discovered it before 1000 A.D. during the Sung Dynasty, using a compound of charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulfur to produce powerful rockets and fireworks.’
- ‘Fertilizers containing high amounts of nitrate of soda, muriate of potash, potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate can cause the highest accumulated salts.’
- ‘The first chemical explosive was gunpowder, or black powder, a mixture of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.’
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