Calcium Chloride - CaCl<sub>2</sub>

What is Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)?

CaCl2 is an inorganic compound with chemical name Calcium Chloride. It is also called Calcium chloride anhydrous or Calcium dichloride. It is an ionic compound of chlorine and calcium. At room temperature, it is a crystalline solid white in colour. It is highly soluble in water and hence is hygroscopic in nature. It is odourless and has a very high enthalpy change of solution. This compound is widely used for dust control and de-icing. It is prepared as by the following –

  • By reacting calcium carbonate and hydrochloric solution acid or
  • Directly from limestone, but a large amount is also produced as a by-product of the Solvay process

Properties of Calcium Chloride – CaCl2

CaCl2 Calcium Chloride
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 110.98 g/mol
Density Anhydrous: 2.15 g/cm3
Boiling Point 1,935 °C
Melting Point 772 °C

Calcium Chloride structure (CaCl2 Structure)

Calcium Chloride structure

Structure of Calcium Chloride Molecules

Preparation of Calcium Chloride

The steps listed below can be followed in order to prepare calcium chloride:

Step 1:

Take a beaker. Wear gloves and place limestones in it until the beaker is filled up by a quarter of its total volume.

Step 2:

Add approximately 1/4th of a beaker of HCl (hydrochloric acid) to the limestones.

Step 3:

As the HCl dissolves the limestone it starts to bubble. Mix the contents in the beaker gently and take care that the reaction completes. Add little limestone if all of the limestones dissolve in it completely.

Step 4:

Filter off the solids by pouring the solution through the filter paper as soon as the solution stops bubbling.

Step 5:

Heat the second beaker which contains the calcium chloride solution. Solid calcium chloride is the solid left after the water evaporates.

Calcium Chloride (CaCl2 ) Uses

  • It is used to prevent the ice formation and therefore used in deicing.
  • Used in the production of activated charcoal.
  • Used as a sterilant for male animals.
  • It is used in heating pads and self-heating cans.
  • It is used to correct the mineral deficiencies in brewing beer
  • Calcium chloride is used as an electrolyte in sports drinks
  • In laboratories, the drying tubes are usually packed with calcium chloride.

Health Hazards

This compound is irritating and needs to be handled with gloves. It is relatively safe to handle, but if ingested, it reacts exothermically with water and can cause burning of the mouth or oesophagus.

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