Raw material information

Calcium chloride: A versatile compound for various industries

Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula CaCl2. It is a salt that consists of calcium and chloride ions. Below you find some important facts and information about calcium chloride.

Chemical properties

Calcium chloride is a white, crystalline solid at room temperature. It has a salty taste and is highly soluble in water, forming a clear and colourless solution.

Calcium chloride forms colourless crystals in its pure form and is highly hygroscopic when anhydrous. It readily absorbs water from the environment, forming a hydrate complex. The anhydrous calcium chloride dissolves exothermically in water.


Calcium chloride occurs naturally in some mineral deposits, but most is obtained by the chemical reaction of limestone (calcium carbonate) with hydrochloric acid.

CaCO3+2 HCl⟶CaCl2+CO2+H2O

Subsequent heating to 260 °C yields the anhydrous form.

Technically, calcium chloride is obtained as a waste product in soda production according to the Solvay process - namely in the recovery of the ammonia from the ammonium chloride formed in the process:

2 NH4Cl+Ca(OH)2⟶ 2 NH3 + CaCl2 + 2 H2O

Range of applications

  • As a food additive (see below).
  • De-icing agent: Calcium chloride is often used as a de-icing agent for roads, pavements and airport runways, especially in cold climates. It lowers the freezing point of water, preventing ice formation and helping to melt existing ice. 


  • Dust control: It is also used for dust suppression on unpaved roads, construction sites and in mining.


  • Construction: Drying of dwellings, frost protection & setting accelerator in concrete production, most important use is as a dust binder on unpaved roads, absorbing moisture due to its strong hygroscopic effect, thus reducing the removal of road dust.
  • Water treatment: it is used in water treatment processes to adjust water hardness and control pH.
  • Concrete acceleration: Calcium chloride is added to concrete mixes to accelerate the curing process, shorten the setting time and improve the strength and durability of the final product.
  • Desiccant: Due to its hygroscopic properties, calcium chloride is used as a desiccant to absorb moisture and control humidity in various applications, such as desiccants, packaging and storage.
  • Other applications: Calcium chloride is used in various other applications such as pharmaceuticals, drilling fluids for oil and gas wells, refrigeration systems and as a desiccant in industrial processes.

Calcium chloride in food

Calcium chloride is a compound commonly used in food production and preparation. It is a white, crystalline solid that is highly soluble in water. Here are some important points about calcium chloride in food:

  • Food additive: Calcium chloride is classified as a food additive and is designated by the E number E509. It is approved for use by food regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
  • Firming agent: One of the most important uses of calcium chloride in food is as a firming agent. It helps maintain the texture and crunchiness of fruits and vegetables, especially during processing and preservation. It is commonly used in products such as canned tomatoes, pickles and olives.
  • Cheese making: Calcium chloride is often used in cheese making. It helps to promote coagulation and improve the curdling process, resulting in a firmer and more consistent curd. In cheese making, it is often added to milk before rennet is added.
  • Brewing and food preservation: Calcium chloride is used in the brewing industry to regulate water hardness, which can affect the taste and clarity of beer. It is also used as a preservative in certain foods to extend their shelf life.
  • Electrolyte replacement: Calcium chloride is sometimes added to sports drinks and electrolyte drinks to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise or sweating. It helps maintain the mineral balance in the body.
  • Medical products: for calcium deficiency and subsequent hyperkalaemia.

Effects on humans and the environment

Although calcium chloride is generally considered safe, it is important to use it carefully. It can cause skin and eye irritation and should be kept away from sensitive areas. Ingestion of large amounts can cause gastrointestinal distress. It is also corrosive to metals, so it should not come into contact with certain materials.

Calcium chloride can harm the environment if not used responsibly. It can contribute to the accumulation of chloride in soils and water bodies, which can have negative effects on plants, aquatic life and freshwater resources. Proper application and management are important to minimise the impact on the environment.

For further information about this product please contact us.

Donauchem GmbH


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