Calcium Chloride

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Calcium chloride is one of the most versatile chemical compounds in our modern world. Its most prevalent use is in keeping our roads drivable. In warm weather, it helps to prevent the formation of dust on roads – especially dirt roads – by keeping the dust confined to a “liquid layer” cushioning the road. This cushion also protects the surface from weathering; while the finer particles remain in place, larger aggregate is less likely to shift. In cold weather, calcium chloride depresses the freezing point of water, simultaneously preventing the formation of ice and melting ice that has already formed. This is especially vital in sub-zero temperatures, as traditional sodium chloride will not work as a deicer when it is this cold, while calcium chloride will continue to work in temperatures as low as -62 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, calcium chloride plays a part in numerous other industries. It increases the water hardness in swimming pools to reduce concrete erosion, and is used as bioavailable calcium in salt water aquariums. It flavors pickles, acts as an electrolyte in sports drinks, corrects mineral deficiencies in beer brewing water, and slows the freezing of caramel in candy bars. It treats internal hydrofluoric acid burns, combats magnesium intoxication and hyperkalemia (elevated blood serum potassium levels). As an additive, it can accelerate concrete setting in cold weather, aid drainage in waste water treatment, and act as a thinner in fabric softeners.

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