Calcium Carbonate has a chemical formulation of CaCO3 and the appearance of a white powder or stone. It is one of the most important chemical compounds and occurs naturally in limestone, chalk and marble. It is present in seashells, snail shells, eggshells and is the main component of pearls. In areas of hard water, this is usually caused by the presence of Calcium Carbonate in the water.
Calcium Carbonate is taken as a food supplement when there is insufficient Calcium Carbonate in the diet. Calcium is essential for strong healthy bones and teeth and forms an important structural component of them. Calcium Carbonate is also necessary for a health heart, nervous system and healthy muscles, as well as normal blood clotting. An inadequate intake of Calcium, either as a supplement or in the diet, can lead to osteoporosis and reduction of bone density, particularly common in women after the menopause. Calcium Carbonate is also widely used as an antacid to combat the effects of acid indigestion, upset stomach and heartburn.
Calcium Carbonate has a number of different applications in industry including the manufacture of mortar and cement, ornamental stone, the steel industry and the glass industry. Calcium Carbonate is quarried or mined for industrial uses, whilst marble provides a source of pure Calcium Carbonate for food and pharmaceutical use. Calcium Carbonate is also used in the manufacture of toothpaste and as a food preservative. Calcium Carbonate is used every day in schoolroom across the world as blackboard chalk.
The construction industry uses vast quantities of Calcium Carbonate, as limestone aggregate for building roads, as a building material in the form of stone or marble, and by burning Calcium Carbonate in a kiln to produce builder's lime.
Calcium Carbonate is used in drilling fluids in the oil industry and in the purification of iron ore in blast furnaces. Calcium Carbonate is also used as a filler in plastics and as an extender in paints. Indeed, many household preparations include Calcium Carbonate in their manufacture, including tile adhesives, sealants and paints. Paper-making and paper-coating processes rely on the use of finely ground Calcium Carbonate in their manufacture. Ground Calcium Carbonate is also known as GCC and is used in household abrasives and cleaning products as Calcium Carbonate will not scratch glass surfaces.