The diverse physical and chemical properties of calcium chloride make it a very useful compound for various industries. Read this ScienceStruck article to know more about calcium chloride.
Calcium chloride is a chemical compound made up of the elements, calcium and chlorine. It contains two atoms of chlorine and one atom of calcium. Thus, its chemical formula is CaCl2. It is also known as a common salt, as referred to in chemistry.
Calcium chloride can be prepared by various methods. When calcium carbonate or calcium oxide is dissolved in hydrochloric acid, this compound is produced. Calcium chloride is obtained on a large scale as a byproduct of the Solvay process or the ammonia-soda process. In this process, when calcium carbonate reacts with sodium chloride, sodium carbonate and calcium chloride are formed.
If we are aware of the basic physical and chemical properties of calcium chloride, we can utilize this chemical substance more effectively. Some important properties have been listed below:
Physical Properties of Calcium Chloride
Calcium chloride can be found in solid state at room temperature, and is available as flakes, granules, and in the powdered form.
Taste, color, and odor
Calcium chloride is salty to taste. Hence, it is added to many food products like canned vegetables, pickles etc. In the solid form, this compound is white in color, while in the liquidated form, it is colorless. This is an odorless compound.
Density and Solubility
The density of calcium chloride is 2.15 gm/cm3. It is soluble both in inorganic solvents like water, as well as organic solvents like ethanol.
Usually in a molten state, it is a good conductor of electricity.
Calcium chloride is a bad conductor of heat.
Its boiling point is as high as 1935°C.
It is hygroscopic in nature and absorbs moisture from air. If exposed to open air, it tends to turn into liquid. That is why, it is often called a deliquescent substance.
It has a low melting point, which means it can be dissolved at a very low temperature. The value of melting point of this compound is 772°C.
Chemical Properties of Calcium Chloride
Calcium chloride is exothermic in nature, that is, it releases heat during any chemical reaction.
Reaction with water
When calcium chloride is exposed to water, it dissolves to form aqueous ions. The reaction depicting this process is as given below:
CaCl2(s) + H2O(l) ➜ Ca+2(aq) + 2Cl–(aq) + H2O(l)
Reaction with sulfuric acid
When it comes in contact with sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid is formed, which is highly caustic in nature.
Reaction with metals
Calcium chloride is a non-inflammable substance. However, when it comes in contact with metals like zinc or sodium, it produces hydrogen, which is highly inflammable. For this reason, we should ensure that calcium chloride is kept away from these metals. We should also avoid storage of calcium chloride in containers made of any of these substances.
Despite being a valuable chemical substance, calcium chloride has some harmful side effects. It can cause mild to severe itching when it comes in contact with our skin. So, one should handle it carefully.