Calcium Carbonate

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What is Calcium Carbonate?

Calcium carbonate is a chemical inorganic compound having the chemical formula CaCO3.

It is also one of the most popular chemicals which is encountered first in school classrooms, where the use of chalk (which is a form of CaCO3) is found. It is found in the crust of the earth.  It is available in various forms, such as limestone, marble, and more. Although they are available in different forms, they are chemically similar and differ only physically. They are also called calcite. The symbol of calcium carbonate can be given as CaCO3.

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CaCO3 Structure

Calcium carbonate is odorless, and a non-toxic compound found commonly as a white mineral that occurs naturally in limestones, chalks, and marbles.

The Calcium Carbonate structure can be given as follows:

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Calcium Carbonate Formula

  • Calcium Carbonate is a chemical compound having the chemical formula CaCO3.

  • It is a white and insoluble powder-like substance that occurs naturally in minerals, marble, chalk, limestone, shells, calcite, pearl, and other related compounds.

  • Medicinally, we use it as an antacid or a calcium supplement. It can also be used as cosmetics fillers. It is added to swimming pools as a disinfectant agent and also as a pH corrector.

  • We can find it in extensive usage in the manufacturing industry as an ingredient for quick lime and cement and building material (marble).


Preparation of CaCO3

  • CaCO3 is obtained mainly by using slaked lime and carbon dioxide as raw materials. When carbon dioxide compound is passed through slaked lime, calcite is obtained.

There is also another method to obtain the calcite by adding sodium carbonate to calcium chloride.

CaCl2 + Na2CO3 → CaCO3 + 2NaCl

Ca (OH)2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O

When carbon dioxide is passed in excess amounts, it leads to form calcium hydrogen-carbonate.

  • It can be prepared on a large scale by passing carbon dioxide gas through calcium hydroxide (otherwise called slaked lime). However, if there is an excess passing of carbon dioxide, it results in the formation of soluble calcium hydrogen-carbonate.

Ca(OH)2 + CO2→ CaCO3 + H2O


Commercial Production of Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate can be produced commercially in two different grades. Both these grades compete industrially primarily based on the particle size and the characteristics that are imparted to a product.

  • Ground Calcium Carbonate - It is produced via extraction and processing naturally occurring deposits. The GCC crystal shape is irregularly rhombohedral, and its distribution is a broader size.

  • Precipitated Calcium Carbonate - This is produced via chemical precipitation with a carbocation process or as a by-product of a few bulk chemical processes. The shape of the PCC crystal depends on the product, and the particles are more regular and uniform with a distribution of narrow size.

PCC has smaller particles that have higher purity, are less abrasive, and tend to have higher brightness than GCC.


Properties of CaCO3

  • Calcium Carbonate is a fluffy powder.

  • It decomposes to form carbon dioxide when heated up to 1200K.

  • It liberates carbon dioxide as a by-product when it reacts with dilute acid.

  • At a temperature of 1200K, calcium carbonate decomposes to form calcium oxide and carbon dioxide.

  • While reacting with dilute acids, calcium carbonate produces carbon dioxide.

  • The molecular weight of CaCO3 100.0869 g/mol.

  • The molecular mass of calcium carbonate 100.0869 g/mol.


Application of Calcium Carbonate

  • Calcium carbonate is employed largely in the paper and pulp industries. It can also be used as a pigment and filter, making possible the production of a whiter and higher quality pigment compared to other minerals.

  • Calcium carbonate is used in the construction industry as a filler in concrete, increasing its appearance and durability and to purify metals to use in construction applications.

  • The other application of calcium carbonate is in fertilizers in providing calcium to plants and pH stabilization of the soil.

  • It can also be an additive to food products for humans and livestock animals and as a vitamin supplement.

  • Calcium carbonate is employed in water and sewer treatment plants in the removal of impurities and acidity.


Calcium Carbonate Uses

The uses of calcium carbonate are listed as follows:

  • Calcium Carbonate plays an important role in the construction department, whether as an ingredient in cement or as a building material (marble).

  • It can be used in medicinal industries in the manufacturing of tablets, antacids, which are made of base materials.

  • It can also be used in the manufacturing of paper, paints, plastics, and more.

  • It is used as calcium supplements.


Other Important Information

If this medicine or compound has been prescribed for you, keep all the appointments with your doctor so that your response to this compound can be checked. And, do not let anyone else take your medicine.

It is also important for you to keep a written list of both prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking and also any products, including minerals, vitamins, or other dietary supplements. Besides, you should carry this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you get admitted to a hospital. It is also important to carry this with you in case of emergencies.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How should Calcium Carbonate medicine be used?

Calcium carbonate can resultantly be formed as a chewable tablet, tablet, capsule, and a liquid to take by mouth. Usually, it is taken three to four times a day. But, one should carefully need to follow the directions on the prescription or package label and ask the pharmacist or doctor to explain any part you do not understand. 


You should take this compound exactly as directed. Do not take either less or more of it. Instead, take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Take It is better to take it with food or the following meals when using this medicine as a dietary supplement.


Do not take this compound as an antacid for more than 2 weeks until or unless your doctor tells you to use

2. What special precautions should be followed before taking Calcium Carbonate?

Before going to take calcium carbonate,

  • Tell your pharmacist and doctor if you feel allergic to calcium carbonate or to any other drugs.

  • Tell your pharmacist and doctor about the prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially etidronate (Didronel), digoxin (Lanoxin), tetracycline (Sumycin), phenytoin (Dilantin), and vitamins. 

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had stomach conditions or kidney disease.

  • Tell your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant, or pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Also, if you become pregnant while taking this calcium carbonate compound, it is better to call your doctor.