Calcium nitrate can be described as an inorganic compound having the chemical formula Ca(NO3)2.
Another name for this compound is Norgessalpeter. In 1905, it was synthesized by the process of Birkeland–Eyde at Notodden, Norway. Also, it is a nitrate salt of Calcium that contains calcium, nitrogen, and oxygen. Calcium nitrate compound is either a whitish-grey or white-colored granular solid that absorbs the air's moisture and is found usually as a tetrahydrate compound - Ca(NO3)2.4H2O.
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Calcium nitrate can be prepared using various methods. The most common method used in preparing this compound involves the limestone treatment with nitric acid and the subsequent neutralization of the product, that is formed with ammonia. Also, this compound is produced as an intermediate during the process of nitro phosphate (which is commonly known as the Odda process).
Calcium nitrate compound is a complex fertilizer, where it can be prepared using any of the methods given below:
Usually, when calcium carbonate, called limestone, is treated with nitric acid, calcium nitrate is formed. The reaction can be given as follows.
Ca(NO3)2 + 2HNO3 → Ca(NO3)2 + CO2 + H2O
Calcium nitrate can also be formed when an ammonium nitrate solution is mixed with a solution of calcium hydroxide. The same reaction can be given as follows.
2NH4NO3 + Ca(OH)2 → Ca(NO3)2 + 2NH4OH
On adding the calcium nitrate compound to sodium carbonate, the calcium carbonate precipitate is formed by leaving the sodium nitrate in the solution. The chemical equation can be given as follows.
Ca(NO3)2 + Na2CO3 → 2 NaNO3 + CaCO3
And, on heating, it undergoes decomposition and releases oxygen and nitrogen dioxide. The chemical equation can be given as follows.
Ca(NO3)2 → CaO + 2 NO2 + ½O2
Let us look at a few of the calcium nitrate uses:
Calcium Nitrate is used as a fertilizer in agriculture and as an oxidizing agent in match manufacture.
It is used in the light industry to prepare incandescent lamp chimneys and fireworks.
Industrially, it is used in pyrotechnics and explosives industries.
Used for storage quality improvement of crops by reducing bitter pit in apples.
We can also use it as a raw material for making the other nitrate compounds.
Calcium nitrate is used in wastewater pre-conditioning for odor pollution control. In the wastewater system, the wastewater pre-conditioning is mainly focused on the development of anoxic biology. The sulphates’ metabolism ceases in the presence of nitrate, thereby preventing hydrogen sulfide production. Also, the simple degradable organic matter is ingested, which otherwise can cause downstream anaerobic conditions and odor pollution as well. The definition is also valid for surplus sludge treatment.
Especially in dipping processes, calcium nitrate is known to be a very common coagulant in latex production. Often, a part of the dipping bath solution contains the dissolved calcium nitrate. Also, the warm former is often dipped in the coagulation liquid, and a thin layer of the dipping liquid remains on the former. Calcium nitrate will break up the latex solution’s stabilisation when the former is dipped into latex, and also, the latex will coagulate on the former.
This compound is also used in the mixtures of molten salt. Because the dissolution of this compound in water is highly endothermic in nature, calcium nitrate is also used as a pack component. The tetrahydrate of this compound is used in the regeneratable cold packs.
1. Can we Define Calcium Nitrate as Dangerous?
Ans: Yes, we can define calcium nitrate as dangerous because it is proven to be dangerous to human beings. Inhalation of calcium nitrate compounds can cause soreness in the throat and coughing too. Some short-term side effects that are associated with exposure to this compound are headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea. Moreover, prolonged exposure to this ionic salt may also lead to redness, skin rashes, and itchy skin.
2. Why is Calcium Nitrate Used in Fertilizers?
Ans: Calcium nitrate is well known to serve as a multipurpose fertilizer because it acts as a source of both calcium and nitrogen. Therefore, plants having deficiencies in either of these nutrients can be treated with calcium nitrate. Particularly, this compound is useful to feed fruit-bearing plants. Ca(NO3)2 or calcium nitrate is also used to prevent or treat certain plant diseases.
3. Explain Solvents Having the Ability in Dissolving Calcium Nitrate.
Ans: Calcium nitrate compound is highly soluble in water in the anhydrous form, and its solubility at a temperature of 20℃ corresponds to 1212 gms/litre. Even this compound’s tetrahydrate is highly soluble in water, having a solubility of 1290 gms/litre at a temperature of 20℃. This compound is also soluble in ethanol, methanol, and ammonia.
However, compared to ethanol, it is much more soluble in methanol. The solubility of calcium nitrate in ethanol at 40℃ can be given as 62.9 gms per 100 gms of ethanol. On the other side, the solubility of this compound at the same temperature in methanol corresponds to 158 gms per 100 gms of methanol.