What is Calcium Nitrate?
Calcium nitrate is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Ca(NO3)2.
Another name for Calcium nitrate is Norgessalpeter. It was synthesized by the Birkeland–Eyde process at Notodden, Norway in 1905. It is a nitrate salt of Calcium which contains calcium and nitrogen and oxygen. Calcium nitrate is a white-gray granular solid which absorbs moisture from the air and is usually found as a tetrahydrate compound Ca(NO3)2.4H2O.
Calcium Nitrate Structure – Ca(NO3)2
Preparation of Calcium Nitrate – Ca(NO3)2
Calcium nitrate is a complex fertilizer. It can be prepared by any of the following methods.
1. When calcium carbonate usually known as limestone is treated with nitric acid calcium nitrate is formed. The reaction is as follows.
CaCO3 + 2HNO3 → Ca(NO3)2 + CO2 + H2O
2. Calcium nitrate is also formed when an ammonium nitrate solution is mixed with a calcium hydroxide solution. The reaction is as follows.
2NH4NO3 + Ca(OH)2 → Ca(NO3)2 + 2NH4OH
Properties of Calcium Nitrate – Ca(NO3)2
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||164.088 g/mol|
|Melting Point||561 °C|
|Boiling Point||132 °C|
Physical Properties of Calcium nitrate – Ca(NO3)2
|Appearance||White deliquescent granules|
|Vapor Pressure||49.800000 mm/Hg|
|Solubility||Soluble in acetone and alcohol, but insoluble in concentrated nitric acid.|
Chemical Properties of Calcium Nitrate – Ca(NO3)2
1. On heating, it undergoes decomposition and releases nitrogen dioxide and oxygen.
Ca(NO3)2 → CaO + 2 NO2 + ½ O2
2. On adding calcium nitrate to sodium carbonate the precipitate of calcium carbonate is formed leaving sodium nitrate in solution.
Ca(NO3)2 + Na2CO3 → 2 NaNO3 + CaCO3
Uses of Calcium Nitrate – Ca(NO3)2
- Used in agriculture as a fertilizer and in match manufacture as an oxidizing agent.
- It is also used in the explosives and pyrotechnics industries.
- It is used to make fireworks and incandescent lamp chimney in the light industry.
- Used as a raw material in making other nitrate compounds.
- Used to improve the storage quality of crops reducing bitter pit in apples.