What Is Calcium Hydroxide?

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Calcium hydroxide is a chemical compound with a variety of industrial and environmental uses.

Facts

Calcium hydroxide is produced by treating lime (calcium oxide) with water. The process, known as slaking, also provides calcium hydroxide with its alternate name, slaked lime.

Identification

Calcium hydroxide can take the form of a colorless crystal or a white powder.

Properties

Because of its unique makeup, calcium hydroxide has strong base properties, making it ideal for treating acidic soils and metals.

Uses

An inexpensive alkali, calcium hydroxide’s commercial uses are seemingly limitless; it can be found in whitewash, mortar, plaster, cement and other construction materials, not to mention cleaning solvents, pigments, water paints and varnish. Calcium hydroxide is also used in treating sewage, water and industrial wastes, and it plays a key role in the manufacturing of leather, petroleum and rubber.

Warnings

Calcium hydroxide is poisonous and can prove fatal if ingested; it can also severely irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.

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