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Chemical and physical properties Essay Sample

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Chemical and physical properties Essay Sample

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is an ionic compound with the formula CaCO3. It is commonly found in rocks as the minerals calcite and aragonite but most notably as limestone, which contains both of those minerals. It is the main component of pearls and the shells of marine organisms, snails, and eggs. Furthermore, strong evidence suggests the presence of calcium carbonate on Mars which provides some evidence for the past presence of liquid water.

This piece describes its chemical and physical properties, its uses, and its environmental and health impacts. Calcium carbonate is an odourless, fine white powder with a chalky taste. It decomposes at 840°C therefore it does not have a boiling point compared to water’s boiling point which is at 100 °C. Its melting point is 825 °C compared to water’s 0 °C. When calcium carbonate is heated to decomposition, it emits acrid smoke and irritating vapours.

It decomposes into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. It has a density of 2.71 g/cm³, whereas water’s density is 1 g/cm³. Calcium carbonate has a very low solubility in pure water, 0.013g/L at 25°C. Its solubility in rainwater saturated with carbon dioxide increases due to the formation of more soluble calcium bicarbonate. Also, its solubility increases as the temperature of the water decreases. Calcium carbonate is non-corrosive and has a pH of 9.91.

Calcium carbonate has many uses, but is mainly used in the construction industry, either as a building material or for road building. However, calcium carbonate (in limestone form) is no longer used for building purposes on its own, only as a primary substance for building materials due to weathering caused my acid rain. Calcium carbonate is also used in the purification of iron from iron ore in a blast furnace, in the oil industry as a formation-bridging and filtercake-sealing agent, in paints as an extender, as a raw material in the refining of sugar from sugar beet and fine ground calcium carbonate is an essential ingredient in the microporous film used in diapers.

When used in food, it can control acidity, act as a white food colouring, act as a firming agent for vegetables, act as a nutrient for yeasts and adds an additional source of calcium. In the Snack Pack pudding, calcium carbonate is used as a binding agent to make the pudding thick. Agriculturally, it is used as a cheap method for neutralising acidic soil, making it suitable for planting. Medicinally, it is used as a calcium supplement or as an antacid.

Calcium carbonate is only harmful if consumed in excessive amounts. Excess calcium from supplements, fortified food and high-calcium diets, can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which has serious toxicity and can be fatal. Calcium carbonate has no harmful effects on the environment. In fact, it’s been found to help the environment. Calcium carbonate was introduced into the Whetstone Brook in Massachusetts in hopes that the calcium carbonate would counter the acid in the stream from acid rain and save the trout that had ceased to spawn, and it was a success. This shows that calcium carbonate can be added to neutralize the effects of acid rain in river ecosystems. Currently calcium carbonate is used to neutralize acidic conditions in both soil and water.

Calcium carbonate is also used in flue gas desulfurization applications eliminating harmful SO2 and NO2 emissions from coal and other fossil fuels burnt in large fossil fuel power stations. Based on my findings, I would buy and use products containing calcium carbonate since there isn’t any harmful effects on humans and the environment. In conclusion, calcium carbonate is helpful ingredient in pudding because of its binding abilities. Calcium carbonate is helpful but not necessary because there are other thickening compounds that could be used such as tetrasodium pyrophosphate or disodium phosphate to name a few.

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