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|Other names||see text|
|Molar mass||100.09 g·mol−1|
|Density and phase||2.6 g/cm3, solid|
|Solubility in water||insoluble|
|Melting point||825 °C decomp.|
|Dipole moment||? D|
|EU classification||not listed|
|Supplementary data page|
|n, εr, etc.|
Solid, liquid, gas
|Spectral data||UV, IR, NMR, MS|
|Other anions||Calcium bicarbonate|
|Other cations||Magnesium carbonate|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for|
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references
It is commonly used as an antacid, and is the active ingredient in agricultural lime. It is a common substance found as rock in all parts of the world and is the main component of seashells and the shell of snails.
Occurrence[edit | edit source]
Calcium carbonate is found naturally as the following minerals and rocks:
Eggshells are composed of approximately 95% calcium carbonate.
To test whether a mineral or rock contains calcium carbonate, strong acids like hydrochloric acid can be dropped with a dropper onto it. If it does contain the chemical, it will fizz and produce carbon dioxide; otherwise, it probably wouldn't react vigorously. For example, all of the rocks/mineral mentioned above will react with acid.
Preparation[edit | edit source]
The vast majority of calcium carbonate used in industry is extracted by mining or quarrying. When pure calcium carbonate is required (e.g. for food or pharmaceutical use), it is prepared by passing carbon dioxide into a solution of calcium hydroxide: the calcium carbonate precipitates out, and this grade of product is referred to as precipitated.
- Ca(OH)2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O
Chemical properties[edit | edit source]
- See also: Carbonate
Calcium carbonate shares the typical properties of other carbonates. Notably:
- it reacts with strong acids, releasing carbon dioxide.
- CaCO3 + 2HCl → CaCl2 + CO2 + H2O
- it releases carbon dioxide on heating (to above 825 °C in the case of CaCO3), to form calcium oxide.
- CaCO3 → CaO + CO2
Calcium carbonate will react with water that is saturated with carbon dioxide to form the soluble calcium bicarbonate.
- CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O → Ca(HCO3)2
Uses[edit | edit source]
Calcium carbonate is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, either as an antacid, a calcium supplement (approximately 600 mg of calcium per gram of calcium carbonate), or as a base material for tablets of other pharmaceuticals.
Calcium carbonate is known as whiting in ceramics/glazing applications, where it is used as a common ingredient for many glazes in its white powdered form. When a glaze containing this material is fired in a kiln, the whiting acts as a flux material in the glaze.
Recently, calcium carbonate has begun to replace kaolin in the production of glossy paper.
[edit | edit source]
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