What is calcium carbonate?
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound of CaCO3 which is formed up by three elements; carbon, oxygen and calcium. Natural calcium carbonate rocks are found throughout the world, the most typical forms are marble, limestone and chalk. The calcium carbonate rock could be extracted by blasting, crushing and grinding process. The quality of natural calcium carbonate depends on its minerals composition. The levels of calcium oxide, CaO (known as quicklime or burnt lime) and magnesium oxide, MgO components in the rocks commonly indicates the amount of silicates and impurities present. Besides that, other chemical components such as iron (III) oxide, Fe2O3 and manganese oxide, MnO may have some minor impacts to the quality of the rocks.
Ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) are produced by different methods. GCC can be produced with two different processing methods which are dry and wet processing systems. Each method produces different finishing products to suit different kind of application. PCC is produced through carbonation process between quicklime and carbon dioxide. PCC is a synthetic mineral which allow more flexibility in customizing its size, shape, particle size distribution and others as compared to GCC. Therefore, complexity of processing for PCC is one of the main reasons lead to a higher cost in production as compared to GCC. Both GCC and PCC can have the same application in various industries, however PCC is more favourable in high-end industries.
Most of the people wonder why calcium carbonate is important in our life. Let us start from the moment we wake up in the morning. We brush our teeth in front of the mirror and follow with shower. A high fibre and protein breakfast which consist of bread, eggs and a cup of milk are important to start our day. We read newspaper or online news to keep ourselves update with the latest news. We always drive on roads or take public transport such as train to our destination. When the weather is hot, we drink water or canned drinks (contain sugar) to keep ourselves hydrated. We keep unfinished food in plastic container. We take nutrition supplement to keep ourselves healthy. We paint our house when we refurbished it. There are many more usages that we are unable to list out here. Without realising, calcium carbonate is one of the important minerals in our daily life.
As stated above, the demand for calcium carbonate are from various industries. Main typical applications are in different industries are listed as below:-
Agriculture – Soil Stabilization
Building & Construction
Electrical & Electronics
Energy, Oil & Gas
Foundry & Castings
Iron and Steel
Paint & Coatings
Paper & Chemical
Rubber & Plastics