Calcium chloride is the ionic compound of calcium and chlorine. It is actually a salt that behaves as a typical ionic halide. That means that is solid at room temperature and highly soluble in water. Calcium chloride is also hygroscopic in nature which means that it attracts moisture from the air and its surroundings.
That makes calcium chloride very useful for many applications, since it can absorb the moisture in air and some gases and can be used as additives in liquids for the removal of dissolved or suspended water. Calcium chloride can do a lot of things from helping the initial setting of concrete to melt ice on roads and highways in winter months.
Here are some of the many other uses of calcium chloride.
1. Uses in water
Calcium chloride is used to increase the water hardness in swimming pools to reduce the erosion of the concrete in the foundation of the pool, It does so by increasing the concentration of calcium in the water. Calcium chloride is also introduced to marine aquariums through the addition of mollusks and other hard-bodied creatures that have calcium in their shells.
2. Uses in food
Calcium chloride is permitted as a firming agent in many foods. This would include canned vegetables and by allowing soybean curds to be firmly shaped into tofu. It is added as an electrolyte in sports drinks and because it is so salty, it is used to flavour pickles without actually adding more salt. It is in famous chocolate bars like Caramilk because its freezing-point depression properties are used to slow the freezing of the caramel in the treat.
3. Uses in the lab
Drying tubes in laboratories are often packed with calcium chloride and seaweed or kelp is dried with calcium chloride for use in producing sodium carbonate for chemical purposes. This product has been approved by the US Federal Drug Administration for use as packaging aid to ensure dryness.
4. Uses in medicine
Calcium chloride injection may improve the appearance of an electrocardiogram and it can be used if someone suffers from magnesium intoxification. It can be injected to reduce internal acid burns and as a channel blocker to reduce the effects of some medications on the body. Calcium chloride can help when there is high blood pressure following a blood transfusion and it can help improve the genetic formation of cells by increasing the permeability of the cell membrane.
5. Uses in winter road maintenance
Calcium chloride can and is used in many applications like dust binding and control and as noted above, for winter road maintenance services. It is also used in mining operations as well as oil and gas exploration and in waste water treatment plants. But that’s not all by a long short. You will find calcium chloride in agricultural nutrients, animal feed, and in use in food processing facilities and distilleries. It is a part of pulp and paper manufacturing, gas and solvent drying and in the production of calcium salts.
6. Other uses of calcium chloride
Calcium chloride can be used in concrete mixes to help accelerate the initial setting and to provide a measure of the moisture in concrete. It can also be added to fire extinguishers, to wastewater treatment products, as an additive to control scaffolding and to thin out fabric softener.
Other types of calcium chloride can be found in heating pads and in the production of activated charcoal. Calcium chloride can be used in the oil and gas industry to increase the density of solids-free brines and to provide inhibition of swelling clays in the water phase of invert emulsion drilling fluids. It can even be used to sterilize cattle and other farm animals.