Calcium Carbonate

Definition - What does Calcium Carbonate mean?

Calcium carbonate is an inorganic chemical compound made of calcium, carbon and oxygen with the chemical formula CaCO3. It has a molar mass of approximately 100.1 g/mol. In an environment with normal temperatures and pressures, it has the appearance of a white powder that is fine in particle size and mostly tasteless and odorless.

Corrosionpedia explains Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is abundant in the earth's crust, comprising nearly 1/20th of it. Calcium carbonate is most commonly found in limestone, aragonite, calcite and marble. Chalk is another major source of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is extracted from the earth's crust through different mining processes. Pure forms can be found in aragonite, calcite and marble. For substances such as limestone, special processing such as heating and adding water and CO2 is required to extract the calcium carbonate.

Calcium carbonate has numerous uses, including:

  • In the building and construction industry, it is used in its marble form. Calcium carbonate is also used as a key ingredient in some cements. Certain ceramic tiles and mortar for bricks require calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is also used to purify metal ores in order to make structural components such as metal plates and I-beams.
  • Calcium carbonate is used to manufacture coatings and other types of corrosion prevention substances. It is used as a filler material in many types of adhesives, paints and coatings. It can also be used to provide a white color to a coating.
  • Calcium carbonate is frequently used in classrooms around the world as blackboard chalk.
  • The health and food industries also rely on calcium carbonate. Antacids are comprised mostly of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is also used to preserve food. It is used as a binder for pills in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Calcium carbonate is basic, and can be used to neutralize acids. The calcium carbonate equivalent is used to determine the ability of other basic materials to neutralize acids relative to that of calcium carbonate.
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