Calcium Chloride

What is Calcium Chloride?

It is an inorganic compound, a salt with the chemical formula CaCl2, which exists as a white coloured crystalline solid at room temperature. 

Calcium Chloride is soluble in water. It can be made by neutralising hydrochloric acid with calcium hydroxide. It is commonly encountered as a hydrated solid. For de-icing and dust control these compounds are used. The molar mass of calcium chloride is 110.98g mol-1. It is odourless and has an average density of 2.15g. The other anions of this compound are calcium fluoride, calcium bromide and calcium iodide. It is an irritant and has a viscosity of 3.34cP (787-degree centigrade). 

What Are The Uses of Calcium Chloride?

There are numerous applications of calcium chloride. 

  • It is popularly used as an additive in plastics, wastewater treatment plants and also in blast furnaces to improve the process and the characteristics. 

  • It is also used as an agent to decrease the freezing point of water. 

  • Further, calcium chloride is greatly helpful for preventing ice formation on the road surfaces and is also, therefore, used as a de-icer. However, it consumes the greatest amount of calcium chloride by depressing the freezing point of water which prevents ice formation and is also used to de-ice. 

  • It is also used in domestic and industrial chemical air known as dehumidifiers. 

  • It has been observed that the intake of the average calcium chloride in food is around 160 to 345mg per day. 

  • In aquariums, it is used as an approach to introduce bioavailable calcium for calcium carbonate- shelled animals like, molluscs and cnidarians. 

  • It is also used in canned vegetables and in producing a caviar substitute from fruit juices or vegetable. In sports drinks and other forms of beverages including water, it is used as an electrolyte. 

  • To add salty taste in pickles, calcium chloride is used. 

  • From brewing beer to cheesemaking there are endless uses of calcium chloride. 

Role of Calcium Chloride As A Water Treatment Agent

Calcium chloride is used for the treatment of water. It is also used in bottled water but majorly, it is used in treating wastewater to remove the undesired amount of impurities present in it. Calcium is regarded as an important determinant of water harness and a pH stabilizer which gives water an elevated taste. One the other hand, calcium chloride is used in the petroleum, metalworking, laundry, textile and food processing industries where it is used in oily waste streams. This creates oil droplets to float to the surface. In the final stage, it is removed through skimming. 

Is Calcium Chloride Harmful to Humans?

Calcium chloride if ingested can create burns in the mouth and also in the throat. This would create an excess amount of thirst, vomiting, stomach pain and would also lead to increased blood pressure and is also capable of severe health problems. This is the reason why calcium chloride should not be ingested. 

It is to be considered that in extreme cases of ingestion, this chemical is capable of causing skin burns, respiration issues, and seizures and also can cause cardiac disturbances. Further, it can also irritate skin by an extreme amount of dryness or dehydrating moist skin. 

These are the possible health hazards that calcium chloride can create and so it is essential to be as cautious as possible while handling this material whether in a laboratory or at home or any other possible place. 

What Are The Things to Remember While Handling Calcium Chloride?

While dealing with any form of chemical it is important to follow the safety measures. It could be using safety glasses, an apron and gloves. If it is being used in a workplace then it is important to ensure that the eyewash station is nearby. Other than this, some of the important steps to be followed are inhalation which is seeking fresh air and immediate medical attention. Next, if it comes in contact with the skin then always flush the affected area with a sufficient amount of water. Remove the clothes that are contaminated and wash with soap and use emollient in order to cover the irritated skin. Also, if it comes in contact with the eye, water the eyes immediately for a minimum of 15 minutes in order to prevent the damage. 

Where To Store or Dispose of Calcium Chloride?

It is important to store calcium chloride in an area which is away from moisture and incompatible materials. Next, keep the container in an area which is well ventilated and is cool and dry enough. In order to dispose of calcium chloride, it is essential to follow the rules of the federal, state and local area. 

Role of calcium chloride in plant growth

Studies have shown that calcium breaks down easily in water. This results in the formation of calcium and chloride ions. While calcium helps in the growth of the plant, chloride is regarded as an important micronutrient for plants and plays a crucial role in the process of photosynthesis. 

Importance of Calcium Chloride As A Drying Agent

As stated earlier calcium chloride has umpteen number of usage. One such use of calcium chloride is in drying which is why it is regarded as a drying agent. It is used on sidewalks and road and also in parking lots where it works as a de-icing agent. By reducing the melting point of the water, calcium chloride prevents the formation of ice. 

What Is The Use of Calcium Chloride In A Fire Extinguisher?

In a fire extinguisher, calcium chloride is used as an additive. However, it is important to remember that the stainless steel extinguisher after getting expired should be destroyed and not tested or replaced under any cost as it is capable of posing a huge threat. 

How To Produce Calcium Chloride?

In order to produce calcium chloride, take a beaker and add ¼ of hydrochloric acid to limestone. Next, you would see that the hydrochloric acid will start to bubble as it dissolves the limestone. After this, swirl the beaker in order to mix the contents. It is essential to ensure that the reaction is completed. After a few minutes, you will see that calcium chloride has been formed in the beaker.  

Boiling and Melting Points of Calcium Chloride

The boiling point of calcium chloride is 1,935-degree centigrade and the melting point of the calcium chloride is 772-degree centigrade. The molecular mass or weight of the chemical is 110.98g. It is anhydrous and therefore, its density is around 2.15. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the structure of calcium chloride?

The molecules of calcium chloride feature two ionic bonds. This bond is in between the single calcium cation and the two chloride anions. It is to be considered that the calcium cation holds a charge that is of magnitude +2. Each chloride anion holds a charge of magnitude -1. It is, therefore, can be regarded as an electrically neutral compound.

2. Write the preparation of calcium chloride in five steps

Below are the five steps that can be employed in order to prepare calcium chloride.

  1. Wear gloves and take a beaker and a limestone. Now, fill the beaker by a quarter of the total volume of the beaker.

  2. Fill the quarter of the beaker with hydrochloric acid (HCL) 

  3. When the hydrochloric acid will get dissolved with the limestone it would start producing bubbles. Now mix the contents in the beaker slowly. If required, add a little more of limestone and wait till it dissolves completely. 

  4. As the solution would stop bubbling, it is essential to filter the solid particles with the use of a filter paper. 

  5. Lastly, take another beaker and heat it. This beaker should contain the calcium chloride solution. When the water evaporates, the solid calcium chloride can be extracted. 

3. What are the health hazards of calcium chloride?

There are certain health hazards of calcium chloride that must be considered before handling this chemical. This is the reason why such chemicals should be handled wearing gloves. If handled carefully, then there is nothing harmful about this chemical. However, if it consumed there lies certain severe health hazards like burning of mouth, throat or oesophagus, cardiac issues and imbalance in blood pressure. On the other hand, it is also used in treating acute hyperkalemia, calcium-channel blocker overdose and hypermagnesemia.

4. How is calcium chloride formed naturally?

Yes, calcium chloride can be formed naturally. It is produced by solar evaporation of naturally occurring brines. It contains an extremely small quantity of potassium chloride and sodium chloride. These two are transported from the natural feedstock of the brine. It also exceeds FCC specifications for fluoride, alkalinity, heavy metals and lead. As a natural product, it is not exposed to the other form of chemicals during the process of production. It is manufactured under regulated conditions in order to be ensuring the safety and purity of the product. This is further examined in each lot and also covers nearly all type of food-grade calcium chloride applications.