Crude potash is used for the manufacture of glass, and, after being causticized, for the making of soft soap. For many other purposes it must be refined, which is done by treating the crude product with the minimum of cold water required to dissolve the carbonate, removing the undissolved part (which consists chiefly of sulphate), and evaporating the clear liquor to dryness in an iron pan.
Potassium carbonate, K 2 CO 3, popularly known as "potashes," was originally obtained in countries where wood was cheap by lixiviating wood ashes in wooden tubs, evaporating the solution to dryness in iron pots and calcining the residue; in more recent practice the calcination is carried out in reverberatory furnaces.
Chiefly owing to the dryness of climate, its physical characteristics are similar to those of Mongolia proper, except that the altitude of the plains is much lower.
Owing to the extreme dryness of the atmosphere and the fact that there is always a breeze, usually from the N.W., this heat is felt much less than a greatly lower temperature in a more humid atmosphere.
Internally lead has an astringent action on the mucous membranes, causing a sensation of dryness; the dilute solution of the subacetate forms an effective gargle in tonsillitis.