What is Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)?
CaCl2 is an ionic 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
|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 molecules feature two ionic bonds between the single calcium cation and the two chloride anions. The structure of calcium chloride molecules is illustrated blow. It can be noted that the calcium cation holds a charge of magnitude +2 and each chloride anion holds a charge of magnitude -1. The compound is, therefore, electrically neutral.
Preparation of Calcium Chloride
The steps listed below can be followed in order to prepare calcium chloride:
Take a beaker. Wear gloves and place limestones in it until the beaker is filled up by a quarter of its total volume.
Add approximately 1/4th of a beaker of HCl (hydrochloric acid) to the limestones.
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.
Filter off the solids by pouring the solution through the filter paper as soon as the solution stops bubbling.
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.
- 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 esophagus.
- Calcium chloride is also recommended for the treatment of acute hyperkalemia, hypermagnesemia, and calcium-channel blocker overdose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is calcium chloride made of?
Calcium chloride is a calcium-derived salt that occurs naturally. It is a solid white and can be rendered synthetically as well.
Is calcium chloride a natural product?
Natural calcium chloride contains small quantities of sodium chloride and potassium chloride transported from the natural feedstock of the brine. This covers nearly all food-grade calcium chloride applications.
What is calcium chloride commonly used for?
Calcium chloride is an excellent desiccant as a hygroscopic agent to eliminate dissolved moisture in liquids and is suitable for use in food packaging to improve dryness and avoid spoilage.
What happens when calcium chloride is exposed to air?
Because calcium carbide is a fragile material, when exposed to air, it absorbs water from the atmosphere. When anhydrous calcium chloride becomes released in the sun, it also absorbs heat from the atmosphere and becomes a colorless solution.
Is calcium electrically conductive?
Calcium is more difficult than lead, but with an effort, it can be cut with a knife. Although calcium is a weaker electricity conductor than copper or aluminum by weight, due to its very low density, it is a better mass conductor than both.
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