The exact content of potassium humate can vary depending on the source, production process, and intended use. However, as you’ve outlined earlier, potassium humate typically contains the following components.Potassium humate contains a mixture of organic acids and humic substances such as:
- Humic acids – Large, complex organic molecules formed by microbial decomposition of plant and animal residues. They contain carboxyl and phenolic hydroxyl functional groups that can bind positively charged nutrients.
- Fulvic acids – Lower molecular weight humic substances that are more soluble than humic acids. They also contain carboxyl and hydroxyl groups.
- Ulmic acids – The most soluble humic fraction, contains the most carboxyl groups per molecule.
- Potassium – A key plant nutrient that is bound to the humic and fulvic acid molecules in potassium humate. This aids potassium availability for plant uptake.
- Organic carbon – The complex structure of humic substances includes carbon in various hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties. This can contribute to improving soil carbon content and overall soil health.
- Trace elements – Humic acids have the ability to chelate and bind micronutrients like iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and others. These trace elements can be delivered to plants more effectively with the help of potassium humate.
- Humins – Insoluble, high molecular weight organic polymers that are precursors to humic acids. They represent a stable organic carbon fraction.
- Macromolecules – Proteins, polysaccharides, amino acids, etc. bound up in the humic matter matrix.
- Inorganic minerals – Humic substances may contain clay minerals and ionic salts incorporated into their structures.
In summary, potassium humate is composed of a diverse mixture of organic molecules and minerals that aim to provide key plant nutrients, improve soil properties and increase microbial activity in the soil. The potassium acts as a counterion.