Potassium antimony tartrate

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Potassium antimony tartrate
Potassium antimony tartrate.jpg
PAT structure.png
IUPAC name
Potassium antimony tartrate
Other names
Antimony potassium tartrate
Potassium antimonyl tartrate
Tartar emetic
K2Sb2(C4H2O6)2·3 H2O
Molar mass 667.87 g/mol
Appearance White, triangular crystals
Odor Odorless
Density 2.6 g/cm3
Melting point Decomposes
Boiling point Decomposes
8.3 g/100 ml at 0 ºC
33.3 g/100 ml at 100 ºC
Solubility Insoluble in ethanol, toluene
Solubility in glycerol 6.6 g/100 ml
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
110 mg/kg
Related compounds
Related compounds
Tartaric acid
Potassium sodium tartrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Potassium antimony tartrate is a double salt containing potassium and antimony(III) cations and tartrate anions. It has the formula K2Sb2(C4H2O6)2·3 H2O



Addition of an acid to potassium antimony tartrate will give tartaric acid.


Potassium antimony tartrate is a white, crystalline compound that crystallizes as flat, triangular crystals.


Potassium antimony tartrate is used sometimes by biologists studying animal diets to induce vomiting in captured animals. It is available in some developing countries as a quack treatment for alcoholism and other maladies.


Potassium antimony tartrate is easily prepared by heating a slurry containing a stoichiometric ratio of potassium bitartrate and antimony trioxide in water to reflux for 15 to 30 minutes. At this time, most if not all of the solid should have dissolved, leaving a colorless solution. The solution is then filtered to remove any remaining reactants, and cooled in the fridge or freezer. As the solution cools, white, triangular crystals of potassium antimony tartrate form. See the relevant thread for a more detailed description.

Wikipedia claims that this compound can also be made from tartaric acid and antimony trioxide, but this is clearly false, as there would be no potassium ions present.


  • Medical drug



Potassium antimony tartrate is toxic due to its antimony content, and will induce persistent vomiting if ingested.


This compound must be stored away from children and pets due to its toxicity. It may be stored with general reagents in the lab.


Antimony compounds are toxic to the environment, and should be disposed of as hazardous waste.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads