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This compound is a source of carbon dioxide for leavening in baking, extinguishing fire in dry chemical fire extinguishers, acting as a reagent, and a strong buffering agent in medications.
It is used as an additive in winemaking and as a base in foods and to regulate pH. It is a common ingredient in club soda, where it is used to soften the effect of effervescence.
Potassium bicarbonate is used as a fire suppression agent ("BC dry chemical") in some dry chemical fire extinguishers, as the principal component of the Purple-K dry chemical, and in some applications of condensed aerosol fire suppression. It is the only dry chemical fire suppression agent recognized by the U.S. National Fire Protection Association for firefighting at airport crash rescue sites. It is about twice as effective in fire suppression as sodium bicarbonate.
Potassium bicarbonate is an effective fungicide against powdery mildew and apple scab, allowed for use in organic farming.
Potassium bicarbonate is often found added to bottled water to affect taste.
Potassium bicarbonate has widespread use in crops, especially for neutralizing acidic soil.