# Determining the chemicals in potash and crystallizing them

I have made potash by leaching wood ash in water. The potash in solution has a high pH indicating it is alkaline, and reacts with acetic and citric acid. Is there an easy way to determine the different chemicals in solution? The neutralization reaction creates an odorless gas. I believe it is carbon dioxide which would make the following equation work:

$$\ce{K2CO3 + 2 CH3COOH -> H2CO3 + 2 KCH3OO}$$

The carbonic acid ($\ce{H2CO3}$) would then decompose into water and carbon dioxide:

$$\ce{H2CO3 -> H2O + CO2}$$

Which leads me to believe the potash contains potassium carbonate (from the reaction) and potassium hydroxide (from the pH.) Is there any flaw in my reasoning and how can I determine and separate the other components? Potash can contain potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, and potassium sulfate, among other things. Once I determine the chemicals, is there a way I can easily crystallize certain compounds out of solution. Thanks.

• @NilayGhosh Your formula is incorrect. The potassium cation has a single positive positive charge and the acetate anion has a single negative charge. – Tan Yong Boon Jun 12 '17 at 9:52

I think it would be quite difficult to separate all of the different compounds dissolved in the sample into their solids because they are all in the same phase. I do not think any method exists for this kind of separation.

However, determination is absolutely possible.