We're excited to announce that we're changing our name to Study.com! Learn more

Calcium Chloride: Uses, Structure & Formula

Instructor: John Williams

Salts are inorganic compounds that are composed of ions through the formation of ionic bonds. These molecules are important chemically in both natural and commercial processes. This article focuses on one of these salts: calcium chloride.

We also recommend watching Major Electrolyte Levels in the Blood: Chloride and Calcium Deficiency & Toxicity Symptoms

Introduction

Salts are inorganic compounds composed of ions, or charged particles. These ions include positively charged ions, called cations, and negatively charged ions, called anions. These compounds form through ionic bonds, which are bonds that developed based on opposite charges attracting each other. The bonds allow for ions to form salt compounds, which can have different purposes, both naturally and commercially.

Many of these salts have functions that are useful for humans. Salts can be found in foods, cosmetics, medications, and even household chemicals. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and uses of one of these salts: calcium chloride.

Formula and Structure of Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is created from the ionic bonds that form between calcium cations and chloride anions. Chloride ions have a charge of -1, while calcium ions have a charge of +2. The molecule for calcium chloride has two chloride ions and one calcium ion, which means that the overall charge for the molecule is 0, or neutral. Below is the chemical reaction for the formation of calcium chloride:

Formation of Calcium Chloride Bonds
Calcium chloride formation

Calcium chloride salts can also form crystals based on these same ionic properties. Positive calcium ions can orient themselves so that they are close to the negative chloride ions in another molecule. This allows for the solid crystal structure shown below.

Calcium Chloride Crystal Formation
Calcium chloride crystal

Uses

The uses of calcium chloride are numerous. They range from natural production in the environment to uses in food and medications. The following examples represent a small number of these uses.

Building Materials

Calcium chloride is a large component of limestone, which means that it has a natural function in many marine environments. Additionally, limestone is often used commercially to serve as building material in the process of making concrete. In concrete, it helps with the solidifying process and can improve the hardness of the final product.

Foods and Medications

Calcium chloride can be used to increase the firmness of many foods. Tofu, for example, is a relatively soft food derived from soybean. However, it is often served as firm strips that can be cooked similar to meat. Calcium chloride helps with this process.

To unlock this lesson you must be an Education Portal Member.
Create your account

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Education Portal

Become an Education Portal member and start learning now.
Become a Member

Already a member? Log In

Start Your Free Trial To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 8,500 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Free 5-day trial
It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Education Portal has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.