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Quicklime

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Quicklime

Calcium oxide
Identifiers
CAS number 1305-78-8 YesY
PubChem 14778
ChemSpider 14095
UNII C7X2M0VVNH
UN number 1910
RTECS number EW3100000
ATCvet code AX18
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula CaO
Molar mass 56.0774 g/mol
Appearance White to pale yellow/brown powder
Odor odorless
Density 3.34 g/cm3[1]
Melting point

2613 °C, 2886 K, 4735 °F[1]

Boiling point

2850 °C, 3123 K (100 hPa)[2]

Solubility in water 1.19 g/L (25 °C), 0.57 g/L (100 °C), exothermic reaction[3]
Solubility in acids soluble (also in glycerol, sugar solution)
Solubility in methanol insoluble (also in diethyl ether, n-octanol)
Acidity (pKa) 12.8
Thermochemistry
Std enthalpy of
formation
ΔfHo298
−635 kJ·mol−1[4]
Standard molar
entropy
So298
40 J·mol−1·K−1[4]
Hazards
MSDS [1]
EU Index Not listed
NFPA 704
0
3
2
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions Calcium sulfide
Calcium hydroxide
Other cations Beryllium oxide
Magnesium oxide
Strontium oxide
Barium oxide
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Calcium oxide (CaO), commonly known as quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound. It is a white, caustic, alkaline crystalline solid at room temperature. The broadly used term "lime" connotes calcium-containing inorganic materials, which include carbonates, oxides and hydroxides of calcium, silicon, magnesium, aluminium, and iron predominate, such as limestone. By contrast, "quicklime" specifically applies to a single chemical compound.

Quicklime is relatively inexpensive. Both it and a chemical derivative (calcium hydroxide) are important commodity chemicals.

Preparation

Calcium oxide is usually made by the thermal decomposition of materials such as limestone, that contain calcium carbonate (CaCO3; mineral calcite) in a lime kiln. This is accomplished by heating the material to above 825 °C (1,517 °F),[5] a process called calcination or lime-burning, to liberate a molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2); leaving quicklime. The quicklime is not stable and, when cooled, will spontaneously react with CO2 from the air until, after enough time, it will be completely converted back to calcium carbonate.

Annual worldwide production of quicklime is around 283 million metric tons. China is by far the world's largest producer, with a total of around 170 million metric tons per year. The United States is the next largest, with around 20 million metric tons per year.[6]

Usage

CaO (s) + H2O (l) is in equilibrium with Ca(OH)2 (aq) (ΔHr = −63.7 kJ/mol of CaO)
As it hydrates, an exothermic reaction results and the solid puffs up. The hydrate can be reconverted to quicklime by removing the water by heating it to redness to reverse the hydration reaction. One litre of water combines with approximately 3.1 kilograms (6.8 lb) of quicklime to give calcium hydroxide plus 3.54 MJ of energy. This process can be used to provide a convenient portable source of heat, as for on-the-spot food warming in a self-heating can.
  • Light: When quicklime is heated to 2,400 °C (4,350 °F), it emits an intense glow. This form of illumination is known as a limelight, and was used broadly in theatrical productions prior to the invention of electric lighting.[8]
  • Cement: Calcium oxide is a key ingredient for the process of making cement.
  • Petroleum industry: Water detection pastes contain a mix of calcium oxide and phenolphthalein. Should this paste come into contact with water in a fuel storage tank, the CaO reacts with the water to form calcium hydroxide. Calcium hydroxide has a high enough pH to turn the phenolphthalein a vivid purplish-pink color, thus indicating the presence of water.
  • Paper: Calcium oxide is used to regenerate sodium hydroxide from sodium carbonate in the chemical recovery at Kraft pulp mills.
  • Plaster: There is archeological evidence that Pre-Pottery Neolithic B humans used limestone-based plaster for flooring and other uses.[9][10][11] Such Lime-ash floor remained in use until the late nineteenth century.
  • Chemical or power production: Solid sprays or slurries of calcium oxide can be used to removed sulfur dioxide from exhaust streams in a process called flue-gas desulfurization.

Use as a weapon

Historian and philosopher David Hume, in his history of England, recounts that early in the reign of Henry III, the English Navy destroyed an invading French fleet by blinding the enemy fleet with quicklime:

D’Albiney employed a stratagem against them, which is said to have contributed to the victory: Having gained the wind of the French, he came down upon them with violence; and throwing in their faces a great quantity of quicklime, which he purposely carried on board, he so blinded them, that they were disabled from defending themselves.[12]

Quicklime is also thought to have been a component of Greek fire. Upon contact with water, quicklime would increase its temperature above 150 °C and ignite the fuel.[13]

Health issues

Because of vigorous reaction of quicklime with water, quicklime causes severe irritation when inhaled or placed in contact with moist skin or eyes. Inhalation may cause coughing, sneezing, labored breathing. It may then evolve into burns with perforation of the nasal septum, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Although quicklime is not considered a fire hazard, its reaction with water can release enough heat to ignite combustible materials.[14]

References

External links

  • United States Geological Survey
  • Factors Affecting the Quality of Quicklime
  • (discussion of 14C dating of mortar)
  • Chemical of the Week – Lime
  • Lime production process presentation
  • Material Safety Data Sheet
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