Calcium Chloride

What is Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a member of the salt family of elements and is made of calcium and chlorine. It is an inorganic compound; it is a type of salt with the chemical formula CaCl2. It is an odorless, white, crystalline solid compound at room temperature, and it is highly soluble in water this chemical is hygroscopic which means it can attract and absorb water molecules from its surroundings.  It is supplied in many different forms (pellet, flake, or granules) depending on the requirements of the application. When dissolved in water it produces a clear, colorless solution.  This ionic compound is highly toxic, harmful if swallowed, causes serious eye damage, and exposure may cause respiratory irritation. It is not combustible but gives off irritating or toxic fumes or gases in a fire.

  • mass: 110.98 g/mol
  • Formula: CaCl2
  • IUPAC ID: Calcium chloride
  • Melting point: 772 °C
  • Density: 2.15 g/cm³
  • Soluble in: Water, Acetic acid, Alcohol, Acetone

 

Calcium chloride forms:

Calcium chloride is commercially available under three different forms: two solid forms and one liquid. Calcium chloride can be bought in the form of flakes containing 77–80% of calcium chloride or granules containing 94% of calcium chloride. In its liquid form, it contains from 30% to 42% of calcium chloride per liter of solution, usually sold as 30% solution.

Production process of calcium chloride :

It can be produced directly from limestone, but large amounts are also produced as a byproduct of the “Solvay Process” (which is a process to produce soda ash from brine). Because of its hygroscopic nature, the anhydrous form must be kept in tightly sealed containers

The process of producing calcium chloride comprises the steps of inputting hydrochloric acid and limestone into a reaction tank for neutralization reaction according to a certain proportion, heating a calcium chloride which is subjected to reaction, evaporating water, cooling, and crystallizing to obtain a calcium chloride product. During the reaction process, volatile HCl gas is absorbed by a calcium hydroxide solution, most of the mixture generates the calcium chloride solution, the calcium chloride finished product is obtained through heating and evaporation, and little unreacted HCl is discharged into the atmosphere through an exhaust funnel. The calcium chloride production process has the advantages of being simple in technology, low in production cost, good in social, economic and environmental protection benefits and easy to popularize and apply calcium chloride is derived from limestone as a by-product of the Solvay process: 2 NaCl + CaCO3 → Na2CO3 + CaCl2

Application of calcium chloride:

Calcium chloride is used in a wide range of industries and applications. It is premium salt which is used to make road de-icing agents and brine or ice control, road stabilization, dust suppression and in oil field application as a hygroscopic compound, calcium chloride is an excellent desiccant for removing dissolved water in liquids and is suitable for use in food packaging to increase dryness and prevent spoiling.

  •  Dust control
  • Increasing water hardness in swimming pools
  • Food additive

Calcium chloride in Oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry uses calcium chloride to increase the density of solids-free brines and to inhibit the swelling clays in the water phase of invert emulsion drilling fluids.

Calcium chloride in ice controlling:

It is used as an agent to lower the freezing point of water, calcium chloride is very effective for preventing ice formation on road surfaces and as use as a deicer. Calcium chloride outdistances traditional deicing materials to achieve safer, bare pavement – faster than salt or abrasives alone. Calcium chloride melts up to eight times as much ice as does salt alone – within the first 30 minutes at 20F (-7C) following application. Premixed with salt and abrasives, calcium chloride becomes a cost-effective edge for winter road safety

  • Exothermic: calcium chloride releases heat as it melts to speed salt’s melting ability.
  • Hygroscopic: calcium chloride attracts moisture and dissolves quickly to activate rock salt’s melting action.
  • Fast Acting: calcium chloride begins to dissolve immediately upon application to break the bond between pavement and ice.
  • Powerful: calcium chloride brine remains active for prolonged periods of time to prevent ice from bonding to the highway.
  • Low Eutectic Point: calcium chloride melts to much lower temperatures than salt; controlled studies prove its effectiveness down to -59F (-51C)

Calcium chloride in Swimming pool

It also hardens swimming pool water by acting as a pH buffer, which reduces the erosion of pool concrete Calcium chloride is also commonly used as an additive in swimming pool water as it increases the “calcium hardness” value for the water. Low calcium hardness values in pool water cause pool water to be corrosive on equipment, pumps and metal fittings Calcium chloride is also used in swimming pools to increase the amount of pool water calcium hardness. The level of calcium in swimming pools directly affects the water hardness.  Low pool water calcium levels make the water aggressive, actively seeking to gain minerals by corroding metals available in the pool, such as the metallic finishes, water pipes, filter and lighting housings, and heating hardware

Calcium chloride  as food

Calcium chloride is used as a food additive as well as in food processing operations. It is used in salt processing to add a salty taste to pickles and other foods without increasing sodium content. Spraying fruit and vegetables with calcium chloride increases firmness and shelf life

The Many Uses of Calcium Chloride in Food

Fundamentally calcium chloride is a desiccant and is often used as a firming agent.  That is, it helps keep foods from becoming mushy when they sit on store shelves – particularly canned foods.

Calcium Chloride in Cheese making

Another extremely commonplace use of calcium chloride is when making cheese.  At a basic level, it acts as a firming agent here too – helping the cheese curds clump together and be more stable once they do.

Beyond that, it’s also highly useful for regulating the process of separating curds and whey.  Small amounts of calcium chloride can be added to milk, changing both its calcium content and its pH level, which in turn will change the properties of the cheese which is made.

Calcium Chloride in Brewing Beer

Calcium chloride is also commonly seen among brewers, as one of many “brewing salts” which can be added to affect the type and quality of the beer produced.  It can help correct for unbalanced mineral levels, as well as – again – altering the pH of the beer.  This is vital for creating a stable product.

Calcium Chloride Spheres

One of the more interesting properties of calcium chloride is that when it’s combined with sodium alginate (another safe food additive) it can make liquids combine into small semi-solid spheres.  This is used for making fake caviar, as well as other novelty foods

Calcium chloride as a dust control

Calcium chloride has two characteristics that enable it to be useful for dust control applications. First, it is hygroscopic. In other words, it attracts moisture from the atmosphere and surrounding environment and resists evaporation as it works to remain in its natural liquid state. Second, calcium chloride is deliquescent, which means the solid form can dissolve into a liquid by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere and sur-roundings. When calcium chloride is spread on low-volume unpaved roads in the spring, its moisture-attraction ability works to keep the surface damp and to keep dust down, usually throughout the summer.

Other application of Calcium chloride

Calcium chloride is widely used as an additive in plastics, wastewater treatment plants, and blast furnaces to improve processes and characteristics.

 

 

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