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The Industrial Applications of Calcium Chloride

by:UFO      2020-08-20

Calcium Chloride is a bulk chemical commodity used in a wide variety of industries. Worldwide production capacity is in the region of 3.5 Million Tonnes per annum. Demand can vary significantly depending on the severity of winter conditions in North America and northern Europe, but typically is in the region of 2.5 Million Tonnes per annum.

Calcium Chloride Products

Calcium Chloride is produced in a number of different forms, depending on the application. The most widely used products include:-

Anhydrous Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride Flake

Calcium Chloride Dihydrate

Calcium Chloride Hexahydrate

Liquid Calcium Chloride

Each of the above forms is additionally available in different grades from technical grades for industrial applications, to high purity food and pharmaceutical grades. In addition, different forms are available such as powder, prill, pellet and briquette - again depending on the application.


Calcium Chloride is used widely as a desiccant/deliquescent. A desiccant is any material which has a high affinity for water. A deliquescent also has a high affinity for water but absorbs water to such an extent that it eventually dissolves and turns to a liquid. Calcium Chloride is often referred to as a desiccant but is more accurately described as a deliquescent as it will eventually turn to liquid if it absorbs enough moisture. As Calcium Chloride absorbs water, it forms hydrated forms of Calcium Chloride. There are at least 4 levels of hydration of Calcium Chloride - 1, 2, 4 and 6-Hydrate. As water is absorbed, the hydration level increases until, depending on temperature, the Calcium Chloride will dissolve and become a highly concentrated liquid. Liquid Calcium Chloride has its own useful properties including a high specific gravity and very low freezing points - as low as -50oC to -60oC - which allows it to be used in cooling and de-icing applications.

Calcium Chloride Applications

Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) is a bulk chemical widely used throughout industry, for numerous applications. It is used as a source of Calcium, in industrial processes and water treatment, as a food additive (E509) as a sequestrant or firming agent. It is also used as an accelerant in the setting of concrete and liquid Calcium Chloride can be used for tyre weighting in agricultural vehicles.

However, the bulk of its applications make use of its desiccant/deliquescent properties which make it a cost-effective drying agent and suited to producing highly concentrated solutions with low melting/freezing points. It is used for de-icing applications, particularly on roads where it absorbs water and forms solutions with freezing points much lower than that of water, thus preventing formation of ice. The absorption of water by Calcium Chloride is exothermic which accelerates the melting of any ice already formed. Calcium Chloride is widely used as a desiccant for drying industrial gases and liquid hydrocarbons (propane, butane).

Calcium Chloride is also used in the Oil and Gas industry, as an additive to completion fluids where it is used to increase density, and as an additive to drilling muds.

Premier Chemicals is a specialist chemical supplier based in the UK, specialising in bulk Calcium Chloride supplyfor allindustrial applications.

Stephen Lyons is a Director of Premier chemicals have a wide range of absorbents, catalysts and getters to suit varying gas purification applications. See www.premchemltd.com For consultation on your contaminant gas please contact +44 (0)1480 570179 info@premchemltd.com

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