Calcium Acetate

Calcium is one of the essential minerals that the human body require to function properly. Calcium plays a pivotal role in bone formation and its growth and maintenance. Moreover, calcium can also join with other minerals like phosphate and help in their removal from the human body.

Furthermore, calcium acetate assists in controlling the phosphate levels and eliminates its negative implications on human body.

What Is a Calcium Acetate?

Calcium acetate is a chemical that is primarily a calcium salt of acetic acid. It is also known as acetate of lime. The formula of calcium acetate is C4H6CaO4. Even though this compound is commonly known as calcium acetate, it IUPAC registered name is calcium ethanoate.

Moreover, calcium acetate is colourless, and it is a white crystalline solid, which smells slightly like acetic acid. It is soluble in water and alcohol but insoluble in acetone and benzene. This compound is strongly hygroscopic when it is in its anhydrous form and arrives as monohydrate in its regular form.

Furthermore, this chemical can be gathered by soaking calcium carbonate in a vinegar solution. Calcium acetate has not been found yet as a free compound in nature. Moreover, it is mainly used in producing various medicines, food additive, sequestrate, buffer, etc.

Formula and Structure

Calcium acetate and acetate of calcium ethanoate or lime is a substance which has a variety of use in medicine. Additionally, it aids individuals suffering from kidney diseases by regulating phosphate levels in their body. The calcium acetate formula is C4H6CaO4

Moreover, its extended formula is, Ca (CH3​COO)2​

Furthermore, the calcium acetate structure suggests that one calcium cation (CA2+) and two acetate anions (CH3COO-) forms this salt. Moreover, it is very hygroscopic, and it is commonly found as hydrated salts.

Preparation of Calcium Acetate

Calcium acetate uses calcium carbonate found in eggshells, or rocks like limestone or marble for its preparation. After that, this calcium carbonate is soaked in acetic acid like vinegar to reach the result. The equation of this process is –

  • CaCO3(s) + 2CH3COOH(aq) → Ca(CH3COO)2(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g) Ca(OH)2(s) + 2CH3COOH(aq) → Ca(CH3COO)2(aq) + 2H2O(l)

Furthermore, when lime is used for this reaction, it passes an acetic acid vapour over the heated mineral.

Physical Properties of Calcium Acetate

  • Calcium acetate is a white, hygroscopic compound. It has an odour of acetic acid.

  • Its density is 1.509 g mL-1.

  • Additionally, its melting point is 160 ⁰C.

  • Furthermore, it is completely soluble in water and alcohol, and partially in methanol. However, it is insoluble in acetone and ethanol.

Chemical Properties of Calcium Acetate

  • Calcium acetate is a chelator, which means this molecule is capable of forming a different coordinated bond called ‘chelation’. Since it has one metallic atom, i.e. calcium, which can bond with other chemical ions, thus, calcium acetate can do the same.

  • Moreover, the calcium atoms present in this molecule are extremely helpful in regulating the phosphate level in the blood. The reason being, this calcium acetate reacts and produces phosphate, which is insoluble. Hence, it is excreted without any hassle.

Chemical Formula



Like acetic acid


1.509 g/cm3

Solubility in Water

29.7 g/100 mL (100 °C)

34.7 g/100 mL (20 °C)

37.4 g/100 mL (0 °C)

Molecular Weight

158.166 g/mol


ca. 0.7

Melting Point


Uses of Calcium Acetate

  • Calcium acetate is primarily used to regulate the blood pressure of dialysis patients. Even though dialysis removes phosphate from an individual’s body, it may not prove enough. Hence, the use of calcium acetate tablets is other medications that can remove enough phosphate.

  • Besides, removing this excess phosphate prevents unsafe materials from gathering in the human body, and keep the bones strong. It also reduces the possibility of any heart diseases and strokes, which can occur due to high phosphate level. Calcium acetate holds this phosphate from the regular diet on patients and helps in passing it out of the human body.

  • Additionally, due to its inexpensive nature, calcium acetate was used as a starting material for acetone synthesis. However, after the introduction of the cumene process, this practice has stopped. The chemical formula of this process is, Ca (CH3COO)2 → CaCO3(s) + (CH3)2CO.

  • Tofu is traditionally prepared by soy milk and calcium sulphate. However, calcium acetate has proved to be a better alternative for this purpose. It is soluble and requires a smaller amount.

The Process of Using Calcium Acetate

  • If anyone is using it with a doctor’s recommendation, then they must ensure proper dosing. It will completely depend on a particular patient’s medical condition and his/her current treatment. Moreover, the timing of having this medication is also crucial. Typically, it is taken during a meal via the mouth.

  • Besides, if anyone is using calcium acetate medicines in its liquid form, then it is vital to use a medication-measuring device instead of a household spoon. Since overdosing of it is unsafe; thus, a precision dose is essential.

  • Furthermore, taking calcium acetate every day is essential to reap its benefits. However, follow the volume and schedule prescribed by the doctor. Additionally, do not increase or decrease its usage without consult a doctor, as it can have side effects.

Side Effects of Calcium Acetate

  1. One of the primary calcium acetate side effects is upset stomach. However, if it persists or deteriorates, then it is vital to consult a doctor. 

  2. Moreover, other negative effects of using calcium acetate are, loss of appetite, stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, increase in thirst and urination, confusion, etc.

  3. Serious allergic reactions due to this drug is also a possibility, but it is very rare. However, in case anyone notices symptoms like rashes, severe dizziness, itching or swelling in the throat, tongue and face, etc. they must contact their doctor immediately.

The side effects of calcium acetate are not very serious. Nevertheless, the proper use of this medication is important to avoid any of these adverse effects. Moreover, if any patient comes across any side effects, then it is vital to get medical help as soon as possible.

Precautions to Take for Using Calcium Acetate

  • The primary precaution that patients can take is informing their doctor about any existing allergies, or if they are allergic to something. Since calcium acetate has inactive ingredients, it can cause allergic reactions.

  • Moreover, patients with a specific medical condition are not permitted to use this drug. Therefore, before consuming it, consult a physician.

  • Additionally, in case of any pregnant individuals, calcium acetate should be used only when it is necessary. Even though it is not likely to hurt the baby, but they must consult with any medical professional before beginning to use it.

  • It is not ideal to use any other calcium supplement without consulting to a doctor while using calcium acetate.

  • Furthermore, it is important to avoid using antacids that contain calcium. Hence, only use antacids prescribed by the doctor.

Interaction of Calcium Acetate

Calcium acetate’s interactions vary from one individual to another. Hence, it is difficult to predict whether it will work on a patient or not. Nevertheless, the negative effects of this medicine are not widely noted; thus, it is not unsafe.

However, it has been observed that specific medicinal products interact with such drugs better compared to others. These are calcium channel blockers such as verapamil, other calcium supplements, and antacids made of calcium, iron supplements, etc.

On the other hand, this drug can lower the absorption of other medicines like bisphosphonates, thyroid medicines, phenytoin, tetracycline antibiotics, and quinolone antibiotics, etc. 

Vedantu, the Ideal Partner for Exam Preparation

Calcium acetate, a compound, which contains calcium, plays a pivotal role in keeping individuals with kidney issues healthy. Moreover, it is an important topic under organic chemistry and not the most difficult one to prepare.

Additionally, students can visit the Vedantu app to attend live and interactive classes on this topic and many more. Subject experts from across the country are conducting these classes and helping students to prepare better for their upcoming exams. Besides, students can access a wide range of study material on chemistry as well as on other subjects via this app.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is a Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Calcium acetate is a calcium salt of acetic acid. The formula of calcium acetate is C4H6CaO4. Moreover, calcium acetate is commonly known as acetate of lime, but its IUPAC registered name is calcium ethanoate. Additionally, this chemical is a white crystalline solid that has no colour. Calcium acetate has a slight smell of acetic acid.

2. What are the Uses of Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Calcium acetate is primarily used as a drug to treat people with kidney diseases. Such individuals find it hard to eliminate phosphate from their body. Hence, they may face serious health risks. Therefore, calcium acetate helps in regulating the phosphate level in their body.

3. What are the Side Effects of Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Some of the common side effects of calcium acetate are diarrhoea, stomach and abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, etc. Besides, allergies are also a negative effect of this medication, but it is not widely reported.

4. What is the Process of Using Calcium Acetate?

Ans. The best process to use calcium acetate is with the meal. However, individuals must consult their doctors before opting for this medicine. Additionally, consuming calcium acetate, according to the prescribed doses, is vital. Otherwise one may face several negative effects.