Calcium Formate is an odourless, freeflowing white crystalline solid. It is an organic acid salt that provides an economical source of calcium and formate ions for aqueous solutions. It has a number of applications from leather tanning and laundry detergents to adhesives and accelerators for grout and cement.
Calcium formate is used extensively in the leather industry as a masking agent in the chrome-tanning process. The addition of calcium formate to the tannage formulation promotes faster, more efficient penetration of the chrome in the leather. Calcium formate can also be used as a replacement for formic acid in the pickling operation.
As an additive to grouts and cement, calcium formate imparts a number of properties desirable in the final product, e.g. increased hardness and decreased setting time in comparison to ordinary cements. The addition of calcium formate is desirable for work at low temperature and for inhibition of corrosion of metal substrates. It is also effective in the prevention of efflorescence. When used in gypsum board, calcium formate functions as a fire retardant.
Calcium formate is commonly used as a component of an ensiling agent for silage treatment. The use of calcium formate in the silage suppresses the formation of side reaction products such as propionic acid, while promoting the formation of desirable lactic acid in anaerobic fermentation.
A mixture of calcium formate with ammonium nitrate or with chlorate, perchlorate, peroxide, superoxide or permanganate of an alkali metal will rapidly evolve large volumes of gas when ignited. Because the released gases are cool, non-poisonous and non-irritating, they could be used for the inflation of automobile passenger restraint bags or other similar applications.
SOx is abated in the flue-gases from the burning of high-sulfur fuel oil if the oil has been emulsified with a solution containing calcium formate before burning. As much as 95% of the SOx is removed.
Calcium formate can be used as the fuel component in explosives designed to have improved deflagration behaviour. Such explosives are suitable for use in hazardous atmospheres often encountered in coalmines.
Mixtures of calcium formate with urea are excellent agents for the melting of ice. Less corrosion of steel and cement surfaces is observed than with other de-icers.
Calcium formate can be used as an additive to improve solution stability of various resins, as a corrosion inhibitor in moulding and wire-drawing operations, or as a catalyst in place of calcium acetate.
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