Calcium Oxide vs. Calcium Hydroxide: What's the Difference?
Calcium oxide (CaO), also known as quicklime, is a white, caustic, alkaline substance. Calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)₂), also known as slaked lime, is formed by adding water to calcium oxide.
Calcium oxide is produced by heating limestone (calcium carbonate) in a kiln. Calcium hydroxide is created when calcium oxide reacts with water.
In terms of appearance, calcium oxide is a white to grayish powder. Calcium hydroxide is also a white powder, but it is more crystalline and less caustic.
Calcium oxide is widely used in the construction industry, particularly in cement making. Calcium hydroxide has diverse applications, including in water treatment and as a pH modifier.
The chemical nature of calcium oxide makes it highly reactive with water, releasing significant heat. In contrast, calcium hydroxide is relatively stable and less reactive.
Calcium oxide can be hazardous due to its strong alkalinity and corrosiveness. Calcium hydroxide, while still caustic, is generally safer to handle.
Heating calcium carbonate
Adding water to calcium oxide
White to grayish powder
White, crystalline powder
In cement and construction
Water treatment, pH modification
Highly reactive with water
Less reactive, more stable
Calcium Oxide and Calcium Hydroxide Definitions
Reacts vigorously with water.
Adding water to calcium oxide creates heat and light.
Used in water treatment processes.
Calcium hydroxide adjusts the pH of water.
A key ingredient in construction materials.
Calcium oxide is integral to manufacturing bricks.
Applied in food and agriculture.
Calcium hydroxide is used in corn processing for tortillas.
Produced by heating limestone.
The kiln processed limestone into calcium oxide.
Formed by adding water to calcium oxide.
Slaked lime is another name for calcium hydroxide.
Used in environmental applications.
Calcium oxide is utilized to treat acidic soil.
A component in some dental materials.
Calcium hydroxide is used in root canal treatments.
A white, alkaline, caustic substance.
Calcium oxide is used to make cement.
Less reactive than calcium oxide.
Calcium hydroxide is safer to handle than quicklime.
Is calcium oxide hazardous?
Yes, it's caustic and can cause burns.
Does calcium oxide react with water?
Yes, it reacts vigorously.
What is the primary use of calcium oxide?
In cement and construction materials.
How is calcium hydroxide formed?
By adding water to calcium oxide.
Can calcium oxide be found naturally?
Rarely, it's mostly produced industrially.
How is calcium oxide made?
By heating limestone (calcium carbonate).
What is calcium hydroxide used for?
In water treatment and as a pH modifier.
Can calcium oxide purify water?
Indirectly, it's used to make calcium hydroxide for water treatment.
Can calcium hydroxide be used in food?
Yes, in processes like corn nixtamalization.
Does calcium hydroxide have agricultural uses?
Yes, in soil treatment and pH control.
How is calcium oxide stored?
In airtight containers to prevent reaction with moisture.
Is calcium hydroxide less caustic than calcium oxide?
Yes, it's safer to handle.
Is calcium oxide soluble in water?
No, it reacts to form calcium hydroxide.
Is calcium hydroxide environmentally friendly?
Generally, but excessive use can alter soil and water pH.
Can calcium hydroxide be used in construction?
Yes, in mortars and plasters.
What precautions are needed for handling calcium oxide?
Protective gear due to its corrosive nature.
Is calcium hydroxide a strong base?
Yes, it's a moderately strong base.
Is calcium hydroxide safe for dental use?
Yes, in specific dental treatments.
Are there health risks with calcium hydroxide?
It can be irritating to skin and eyes.
Can calcium oxide be used in food?
Not directly; it's too caustic.
Written bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited byHuma Saeed
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