alum

Science Dictionary
alum   (āl'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various crystalline double salts of a trivalent metal (such as aluminum, chromium, or iron) and a monovalent metal (such as potassium or sodium), especially aluminum potassium sulfate. Alum is widely used in industry as a hardener and purifier, and in medicine as an emetic and to stop bleeding.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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