When you hear the word calcium chloride what comes into your mind? Probably, you will say that just like other calcium compounds, it is used as an active ingredient on dietary supplements.
However, it is wrong.
Calcium chloride is not advisable to be used as an active ingredient in dietary supplements because of the presence of the element chlorine, which is one of the integral parts of the chemical compound apart from calcium. Instead, it is used on other applications that will be discussed on the later part of this article. But for the mean time, let us first discuss how calcium chloride is prepared.
Preparation of Calcium Chloride
This chemical compound is a by-product of the so-called Solvay process, or also known as the ammonia-soda process. It is a major industrial process employed in producing calcium carbonate wherein the calcium carbonate is reacted with hydrochloric acid, thus producing calcium chloride.
There are millions of tonnes of calcium chloride that are produced in United States alone. It has different applications which are as follows:
Since calcium chloride is hygroscopic (substances that readily absorbs water from its environment), it can be utilized to dry air and other gases as well. The process involves the conversion of calcium chloride into brine as it absorbs either water or water vapor from the gases that need to be dried.
Because of the extreme heat involved during the compounds dissolution, calcium chloride also acts as an ice-melting compound. It is quite harmless on soil and plants compared to sodium chloride. When used for this purpose, it is now of small white balls which are of few millimeters in diameter which is known as prills.
It is also mixed up with concrete in order to strengthen its mixture as well as to help fast track the initial settings. However, it is not advisable to be used on reinforced concrete since the compound contains chloride ion which is corrosive to steel bars.
It is also employed on minimizing dust on several highways. Its hydroscopic characteristic keeps the liquid layer on the highways surface, which in return holds the dust.
It is also act as an additive in manufacturing of plastics.
It is also employed for waste water treatment as a drainage aid.
Its aqueous form is utilized on the cells genetic transformation by enhancing the permeability of the cell membrane. Such process permits DNA fragments to enter the cell.
There are several precautions with regards to exposure on calcium chloride. Since it also contains acidic properties, you must always use goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands. Avoid inhaling it or taking it directly into your mouth. Once reacted with water, it can burn your mouth as well as your esophagus.