Difference Wiki

Gypsum vs. Lime: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 16, 2024
Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral used in construction and agriculture, while lime, derived from limestone, is used in agriculture, construction, and water treatment.

Key Differences

Gypsum is a mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate. Lime is a general term for several calcium-containing compounds, primarily calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide.
Gypsum is widely used in the construction industry for plaster and drywall. Lime is used to adjust soil pH, in cement, and as a water treatment agent.
Gypsum is known for its softness and can be easily scratched. Lime, in contrast, exhibits caustic properties and can be corrosive.
Gypsum forms from the evaporation of sea water and is often found in sedimentary rock layers. Lime is produced by heating limestone or other sources of calcium carbonate.
Gypsum can improve soil structure and is a natural source of calcium and sulfur. Lime can enhance soil fertility but may raise concerns about CO2 emissions during production.

Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

CaO (quicklime), Ca(OH)2 (hydrated lime)


Soft, can be scratched by a fingernail
Harder, can be corrosive

PH Effect

Alkaline, raises soil pH

Common Use

Drywall, plastering, soil amendment
Soil amendment, cement, water treatment


Improves soil structure, natural mineral
Can emit CO2 during production

Gypsum and Lime Definitions


Gypsum is a soft mineral used in plaster.
The wall was made sturdy using gypsum-based plaster.


Lime is used to balance soil pH.
To reduce soil acidity, the gardener applied lime.


Gypsum is a source of calcium and sulfur for plants.
The farmer used gypsum as a fertilizer for better yields.


Lime treats water to remove impurities.
The water treatment plant uses lime for purification.


Gypsum is essential in drywall manufacturing.
The new house features walls made from gypsum drywall.


Lime is a key ingredient in cement.
The construction of the sidewalk involved mixing lime with other materials.


Gypsum is used in sculpting and art.
The artist sculpted a beautiful statue from a block of gypsum.


Lime is calcium oxide or hydroxide.
In chemistry class, we studied the properties of lime.


Gypsum improves soil structure.
Adding gypsum to the garden enhances plant growth.


Lime is used in environmental applications.
Lime helps in reducing soil erosion in vulnerable areas.


A widespread colorless, white, or yellowish mineral, CaSO4·2H2O, used in the manufacture of plaster of Paris, various plaster products, and fertilizers.


Any of several evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Citrus having edible green or greenish-yellow fruit, especially the Mexican lime and the Persian lime.


A mineral consisting of hydrated calcium sulphate. When calcinated, it forms plaster of Paris.


The fruit of any of these plants, having a pulpy interior and usually acid juice.


A mineral consisting of the hydrous sulphate of lime (calcium). When calcined, it forms plaster of Paris. Selenite is a transparent, crystalline variety; alabaster, a fine, white, massive variety.


A common white or colorless mineral (hydrated calcium sulphate) used to make cements and plasters (especially plaster of Paris)


What is gypsum?

Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral, commonly used in construction and agriculture.

What is lime?

Lime refers to calcium-containing compounds, used in various industries like agriculture and construction.

How is gypsum used in agriculture?

In agriculture, gypsum serves as a soil amendment and provides essential nutrients.

Can gypsum be used in making sculptures?

Yes, gypsum is often used for artistic sculptures and decorative elements.

What are the environmental benefits of lime?

Lime improves soil health and is used in environmental remediation.

Is lime harmful to humans?

In its caustic form, lime can be harmful if not handled properly.

How does lime affect soil pH?

Lime raises the pH level of soil, making it less acidic.

Is gypsum used in food?

Gypsum is used in food as a coagulant in products like tofu.

Is gypsum biodegradable?

Being a natural mineral, gypsum is environmentally friendly and does not cause pollution.

Can lime be used in fire safety?

Lime is used in fire-resistant building materials.

What is the main chemical component of gypsum?

Gypsum primarily consists of calcium sulfate dihydrate.

Is lime renewable?

Lime is derived from limestone, a non-renewable resource, but is abundant.

Does gypsum affect water retention in soil?

Gypsum improves water retention and soil structure.

How does lime contribute to carbon footprint?

The production of lime can contribute to CO2 emissions, impacting the carbon footprint.

What are the construction uses of gypsum?

Gypsum is widely used in drywall, plaster, and wallboard.

Is gypsum environmentally sustainable?

Gypsum is considered environmentally sustainable due to its natural occurrence and benefits to soil.

What are the safety concerns with lime?

Lime can cause skin irritation and respiratory issues if not handled with care.

How does gypsum benefit plants?

Gypsum provides calcium and sulfur, essential for plant growth.

Can lime be used for artistic purposes?

Lime is less commonly used in art compared to gypsum.

Can lime be used in water treatment?

Yes, lime is used in water treatment processes to purify water.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons