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What are the uses of calcium chloride?

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Quick Answer

One use of calcium chloride is as a road salt, which melts ice and snow on roads to prevent potentially fatal accidents. Calcium chloride is also used as a source of extra calcium in food as the body processes the compound into usable calcium when consumed. Calcium chloride finds uses in recycling and the petroleum industry, interacting with inks and acting as an additive, respectively.

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Calcium chloride is a salt composed of one part calcium and two parts chlorine. This compound is a milky crystalline substance. Calcium chloride attracts water very easily, so it is used for desiccation, also known as the process of drying. Dry calcium chloride must be stored carefully so that it does not accumulate moisture from atmospheric conditions.

Calcium chloride is used to increase water hardness in swimming pools, reducing erosion of the pool lining. Other compounds are used for a similar purpose, often in conjunction with calcium chloride.

Some brands of pickles get their very salty taste from the use of calcium chloride, preventing an abundance of sodium in the pickles. Calcium chloride is also a firming agent for canned vegetables and other preserved food items. The compound is sometimes used in sports drinks as an electrolyte.

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