Calcium carbonate is an inorganic chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. This ionic compound consists of two ions – the calcium cation (Ca2+), and the carbonate anion (CO32-). At room temperature, this compound exists as a white, powdery solid. Some important properties and uses of calcium carbonate are listed in this article.
Properties of Calcium Carbonate
The molar mass of calcium carbonate is 100.0869 grams per mole. It does not have any distinct odor. The melting point of this compound is 1339oC (in its calcite polymorph). Calcium carbonate is not very soluble in water – its solubility corresponds to 0.013 grams per liter at a temperature of 25oC. When this compound is reacted with acids, carbon dioxide is liberated as a product. At high temperatures, calcium carbonate undergoes decomposition to yield calcium oxide (CaO) and carbon dioxide.
The acid dissociation constant of this compound is 9.0. It is important to note that calcium carbonate is soluble in dilute acids. The calcite polymorph of calcium carbonate has a density of 2.711 grams per cubic centimeter.
Uses of Calcium Carbonate
Calcium carbonate is the primary component of blackboard chalk. It is also used extensively in the construction industry as a limestone aggregate or building material. This compound is also used in blast furnaces for the purification of iron. Calcium carbonate is also used as a filter cake sealing agent in the oil industry. It is one of the raw materials in order to refine the sugar obtained from sugar beet. It is used as an extender (or filler) in several paints.
Calcium carbonate is also used as a calcium supplement in humans. It is also used in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia (a disorder which causes elevated phosphate levels in the blood).
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