Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a chemical with the formula CaCO3.

Calcium carbonate is an exceptional mineral. Calcium carbonate, or CaCo3, contains more than 4% of the Earth’s crust and is found worldwide. Calcium carbonate is one of the most widely used materials known to mankind. This substance can also be produced artificially and of course it is also present in the eggshell and membranes of animals such as snails and crabs. Pearls are also made of calcium carbonate.

Calcium carbonate is mined for industrial use. Pure calcium carbonate can be produced from marble or formed by passing carbon dioxide through a solution of calcium hydroxide. It can also be made by pouring baking soda into a boric acid solution which precipitates as a white substance. (Tubing water should be used to make the solution, otherwise sodium borate will precipitate instead of calcium carbonate.)

Calcium carbonate is converted to lime by heat loss from CO2, which is used as a smelting aid in the construction industry, in the iron mining and steel industries, and in the preparation of calcium carbide. Lime is also used in agriculture to improve the soil and adjust its pH.

Calcium carbonate is used in the ceramic tile industry, especially in the glazing industry. Due to the eutectic formation, it lowers the melting point of the set and, when used in the glaze, lowers the thermal expansion coefficient of the glaze.

Calcium carbonate is one of the most widely used minerals in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries as both a filler and a color coating (due to its special white color).

It is valuable in the paper industry due to its high brightness and light scattering all over the world, and it is used as a cheap filler to lighten the opaque surface of the paper.

Manufacture of materials and construction:

Calcium carbonate is important in construction both in the manufacture of materials and as components and particles of cement. It is also used in the manufacture of mortar for stacking bricks, concrete blocks, stones, roofing, resin compositions and tiles. Calcium carbonate decomposes carbon dioxide and lime to form a base material in steel, glass and paper.

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