What is Calcium Carbonate?

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Calcium carbonate, also known as CaCO3, is a white and insoluble compound that occurs naturally as marble, chalk, limestone and calcite produced by the sedimentation of the shells of small snails, shellfish, and coral over the years. Due to this, calcium carbonate is known to be a versatile chemical. It contains more than 4% of the earth’s crust and can be found throughout the globe, which makes it very accessible. It is important to note that although it can occur naturally in three forms which are chemically identical, it differs in other properties such as purity, homogeneity etc.

Uses of Calcium Carbonate:

  • Plastics, Paints, and Coatings: It is a highly used mineral in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries as a filler and a coating pigment due to its natural white pigment. 
  • Paper industry: Its high clarity and light scattering characteristics makes it a popular choice of chemical in this industry. It is also used make bright opaque paper by functioning as a low-cost filler.
  • Medical industry: Can be used as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets. 
  • Food industry: Used as a primary ingredient in products such as baking powder, toothpaste, dry-mix dessert mixes, dough, and wine.
  • Construction industry: Calcium carbonate plays an integral role to the construction industry as a building material (e.g. marble) and as an ingredient of cement.  It serves an essential role in the making of mortar used in bonding bricks, concrete blocks, stones, roofing shingles, rubber compounds, and tiles.

Due to its many beneficial property, it is no surprise that calcium carbonate is frequently used in different industries.

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