A Short Introduction on Calcium Carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound that is used for shells of marine organisms, snails, and eggshells. It is also commonly found in limestone. With the chemical formula of CaCO3, the compound appears to have a white chalky consistency that is also odorless. This compound’s structure is trigonal making the main shapes dipyramids, rhombohedron, and scalenohedron. Though the compound is soluble in dilute acids, its solubility in water is quite poor. The compound comes in three different mineral types; calcite, aragonite, and vaterite. These minerals can be found in places that limestone, chalk, travertine, and marble settle for these rocks are all, for the most part, calcium carbonates. Depending on the addends, calcium carbonate releases and makes different products. An example of a chemical reaction is when the compound reacts with acids, it releases carbon dioxide. Another example is that the compound will form calcium bicarbonate when mixed with water saturated with carbon dioxide. The compound was also found in outer space and specifically in Mars. The discovery of calcium carbonate showed evidence that there was indeed water present in Mars.
Moving on from Mars and the geology of CaCO3, the chemical compound also has many uses for our daily lives. If you ever go to the Smithsonian, you see many preserved bones and fossils. Have you ever wondered how the bones were preserved so well? Well, one method is by using this compound and going through permineralization. Permineralization is a process of fossilization that involves using minerals to fill up organic tissues.
Industrial, health and environmental
For Industrial purposes, uses can go from a cement additive to even ceramic glaze. There are hundreds of things that people use every day that is made with calcium carbonate. Moving on to health. Calcium carbonate is used in dietary calcium supplements also known as gastric antacids. However, there is a risk to any products that include the chemical compound. If overdosed, there is a possibility of hypercalcemia. Please keep that in mind when taking any over-the-counter products that use calcium carbonate as one of its ingredients. Coming back from the tangent, we now move on to environmental uses. CaCO3 is used for neutralizing acidic ecosystems and to remove sulfur dioxide from places and industries that emit sulfur dioxide while working.
This miracle compound has many uses in the world and is a very important part of our daily life. Just keep in mind that all your surroundings are made from a little chemical compound called Calcium Carbonate.