There are many substances that are only used in a handful of specific applications, and then there are those which are utilized in a wide variety of situations. Calcium chloride is definitely among the latter. A salt of calcium and chlorine is extremely hygroscopic and therefore its primary application is as a desiccant.
However, the number of ways it can be applied in products and indirect application can be quite surprising!
Uses for Calcium Chloride in Everyday Life
- Food enhancement
Calcium chloride is often found as a firming agent in foods, due to its ability to absorb moisture. It helps hold canned vegetables together, and to convert soy curd into solid blocks of tofu. Further, it can depress freezing levels in liquids and semi-solids, making it useful in the creation of cold foods such as ice cream.
In addition, it can also be found as a flavor additive. It has an extremely salty flavor and can, therefore, be used as an alternative to standard salt, such as in “low sodium” products. It even functions as an electrolyte in many sports beverages.
- Water hardening
Calcium chloride is an extremely common additive to soft water, particularly in swimming pools and other situations where water is being held in concrete. The calcium leeches into the concrete, preventing erosion.
Calcium chloride also has many applications in the medical industry. In medications, it can function as a buffering agent, as well as an anti-moisture agent. It has direct medicinal qualities as well. It is utilized in lowering blood pressure, as well as treating acid burns. Injections may also be used to enhance the resolution of an electrocardiogram.
- Road work
Calcium chloride is frequently utilized as a de-icing agent and is very often what’s actually in municipal “salt trucks” de-icing roads in the winter. However, it was probably also utilized in the creation of the road itself! Calcium chloride is often utilized in concrete mixing, because it simultaneously speeds up setting of the concrete, while also reducing the effects of moisture on the mix.
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