Calcium chloride, whose chemical formula is CaCl2 is a chemical compound that is made of two elements: calcium and chloride. It is highly soluble in water. The compounds in calcium chloride can be used for dust control but it is mainly used for de-icing.
Calcium chloride is sold either in a white powdered form or in a granular form. It can be found in many food items, snacks in particular. Let’s explore five common uses for calcium chloride that may surprise you:
1. Food Additive
This substance is widely used as a food additive and helps to prevent food from spoiling. In many packed or packaged foods, it is used as a preservative in order to keep the food fresh for a longer period. It also increases the calcium content of these foods thereby giving the food a nutritional boost, since everyone knows how important calcium is to the body. It has many advantageous properties for those in the food industry.
For example, canned fruits and vegetables may go soft if it did not contain calcium chloride because it is also used as a firming agent. It is also used as a flavour enhancer and can be found in sports drinks.
2. Drying Agent
At room temperature, it stays in a solid state but it is very easily dissolved in water. In fact, it is known for absorbing moisture. It has to be stored in an air-tight container because this chemical compound, when exposed to oxygen, can form a liquid solution.
It is also used as a drying agent as it is capable of drying organic liquids. It is also sometimes applied to roads and mines to try and minimize the problem of dust. It’s used in the making of dyes, the paper-making industry and also the petrochemical industry, where, it can deny some chemical compounds its water content.
It can help prevent the formation of ice and because it is pretty much harmless to the soil and plants, it makes a great solution for numerous uses without having to worry about causing harm to the surrounding. This is one of the main reasons it is used on ice-accumulated roads as it can bring the freezing point of water down. Calcium chloride melts ice quite rapidly, which is why many places use it on sidewalks and roads.
4. Concrete Sets Faster
In the building industry, calcium chloride is added in the concrete mix to help it to set much faster, making it convenient as it can save time. It is also capable of making the concrete much stronger. Other chemicals that have been used in the past for such reasons have caused damage to the concrete, unlike calcium chloride.
5. Calcium Hardness
If the water in a swimming pool has a low calcium content (or low calcium hardness), it can cause erosion of the concrete in the pool and the deck surface. This can cause a big problem, but one which can be reduced dramatically by increasing the calcium hardness of the pool’s water by adding calcium chloride.
There are many other uses where it can save a lot of time and money as well as damage. It is a much safer option when compared to other chemicals that are used for similar reasons.