Calcium carbonate, or CaCO3, comprises more than 4% of the earths crust and is found throughout the world. Its most common natural forms are chalk, limestone, and marble, produced by the sedimentation of the shells of small fossilized snails, shellfish, and coral over millions of years. Although all three forms are identical in chemical terms, they differ in many other respects, including purity, whiteness, thickness and homogeneity. Calcium carbonate is one of the most useful and versatile materials known to man
Personal Health and Food Production:
Calcium carbonate is used widely as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets. It also is found on many grocery store shelves in products such as baking powder, toothpaste, dry-mix dessert mixes, dough, and wine. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime, and is used in animal feed. Calcium carbonate also benefits the environment through water and waste treatment.
Building Materials and Construction:
Calcium carbonate is critical to the construction industry, both as a building material in its own right (e.g. marble), and as an ingredient of cement. It contributes to the making of mortar used in bonding bricks, concrete blocks, stones, roofing shingles, rubber compounds, and tiles. Calcium carbonate decomposes to form carbon dioxide and lime, an important material in making steel, glass, and paper. Because of its antacid properties, calcium carbonate is used in industrial settings to neutralize acidic conditions in both soil and water.
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