Potassium Alum Mineral Properties & Uses
Scientific advancements have allowed for manufacturing of synthetic potassium alum. The chemical synthesis is so precise that upon analysis of the synthetic potassium alum there exists no difference compared to the chemical formula of natural potassium alum. However, as they are chemically identical, there remains a visual difference. The synthetic potassium alum is opaque and the natural potassium alum is translucent.
Potassium alum, whether it is natural or synthetic, have various commercial uses. There are advantages and disadvantages for choosing one over the other for commercial applications, particularly relating to cost and origin. Synthetic potassium alum is much cheaper as it is manufactured, whereas natural potassium alum has to be extracted from the Earth. Typically, the synthetic version is 1/3 the price of the natural mineral. Another determining factor for choosing either the natural or synthetic alum is its origins. Natural potassium alum is just that, natural. It occurs in nature as a mineral. And synthetic alum is chemically manufactured. Therefore, depending on the use of potassium alum, the decision is made.
Commonly, natural potassium alum is used in the health and beauty industry. Natural products, including natural skin care, natural deodorant, and natural cosmetics, are all a rapidly growing trend. Consumers are now much more concerned with what's in their products and where it came from. For examples, natural deodorant uses potassium alum as a antimicrobial to prevent bacteria growth and odor. When natural deodorant contains potassium alum it is sometimes known as potassium alum deodorant, or crystal deodorant, and it can be marketed as a natural deodorant. Other deodorants that use synthetic alum should not be able to market themselves as natural, as the active ingredient was manufactured using chemical synthesis.